Well, its that time of the year again. Rain-mingled snow, icy highways, large ponds frozen completely over, geese, ducks, swans and most all creatures with this option: gone!
Of course, there are a few of the stupider animals which choose to stay in the yukon and brave the arctic, but most with the intelligence of a bookend have left the country by now, realizing that the 20 hour dark spells, coupled with, at times, temperatures hovering in the ouch-zone, are better off left to the brave and the stupid.
A friend recently shared about how he let a little dog out one night and forgot about the poor little thing until the morning. When the missing critter was noticed, the door was opened and there was pooch, standing just outside the door. Surprisinly, he wouldnt enter the house when invited, surprising until the cause was discovered, that is...
And, while on the weather topic, this year has been a dandy if you happen to make your home at the bottom of the lake. The cycle is becoming one of gorgeous January through May weather, with a general downturn after that, becoming gradually more muddy until, mercifully it begins to snow instead. We had a brief window of opportunity for a few days, right after the best time for moose hunting, which is the last half of September, and thankfully, during this spell, someone got his moose! The jerky is wonderful and all the more satisfying knowing that I dont have to fill myself solely on genetically modified cows this winter.
It was a fine thing to sit in my lawnchair on the riverbank, beside my little fire and its teapot, enjoying the surroundings and pondering the wonder of the fact that the moose meat was on the ground after a week-long search. Twice earlier had i come within yards of a huge bull, but it was not to be and i left him to his little family, consisting of a cow and calf and found my winters meat elsewhere.
The bull i eventually shot was with a cow which would not leave that evening, and became quite aggessive towards me, ears laid back, hair up, making unsettling noises... Apparently it was her calf from a couple years ago which i had decided to add to my freezer. I explained gently, that i needed the meat and told her i was sorry, which she seemed to understand and settled down a bit after that.
Winters wood is about in now as well and I rest in the contented knowledge that warmth and a full belly is really all thats needed to get through a yukon winter. Many i know, are not so blessed.
Warmth and love to you all from beautiful bountiful Teslin!