cedar tree in snow, february 24 2018Sunrise 6:16 am, sunset 5:11 pm. Days are noticeably longer, something that makes me smile even when it’s overcast. It isn’t pitch black, but close, when I wake. These longer days make me feel like we just might survive another winter.

It’s coyote mating season. On the move with a definite mission, we’re hearing them more often and closer to the house. I’m a little concerned about Zoey’s safety. Zoey is our youngest dog. At four, she’s finished maturing and “come into her own.” Her urge to protect her home against invaders is growing. She gave a dopey raccoon out for a late night snack of bird seed a good shake. I thought she’d killed it but it returned two weeks later. Mink? Search and destroy! Bunny? Run for your life! She hasn’t met up with the fox yet and I hope it stays that way. One fox is nothing compared to the sneakiness of a couple of coyotes.

My friend Amy came from Indiana to spend a long weekend with us last weekend. We were traveling across Route 6 in Topsfield when a cat crossed the road in front of us. We’d been talking about bobcats so it was timely. “Amy! Look at the bobcat!” We pulled over directly across from the cat and watched it, and then I realized that it wasn’t a bobcat. “That’s a lynx!” It’s the first wild lynx I’ve seen.

It’s been unusually warm. Snow melts, runs off, puddles up and turns to ice. I have cleats on my boots but still somehow managed to slip and fall, land on my tailbone, twist my bad knee and bang my head. Maybe I’m getting tougher, getting my strength and determination back after the horrible fall of three years ago. Ten seconds of self pity turned into “I’m okay!” I’m just fine and winter can be over any second now. Oh it’s not going to be, it’s still only February, but I’m ready any second now.