Tuesday, July 19, 2011

On the Mountain

A damp, poky spring has resulted in a pleasant summer. It's amazing that the mountain still has so much green, as usually hot weather in July creates dry grasses and the threat of forest fires. The delay is in heat gives us such pleasant days on the mountain. Such days are quiet --- nothing too exciting going on.

A little tree frog lives under the window shutter and in the garden bed.  Here he is, sitting on the oak barrel and seeming curious as to what the camera's eye is all about.

Plants are growing, blooming, and lush!  The wild roses are the most recent flowers to bloom. Gone are the Calypso Lady-slippers and the Shooting Stars.

The man of the mountain enjoys his days working on a never-ending list of [relaxing to him] projects.  The trail to the spring needed cleared [with chain saws and pruners].  The next week the weed whacker was used to open up an easy pathway for humans [and bears, elk, deer].

A buried tank near the spring looks like it is smiling and showing a happy face.  Just look at that grin!  What a deep and cavernous mouth he has!

The spring is ICE cold!  The ground gets quite mushy and wet the last 20 - 30 feet of the trail.  It seems the spring doesn't contain itself and seeps out of the ground at every convenient spot.  The man of the mountain makes sure to clear it of twigs and sticks so that it's deep enough to chill things like a watermelon or soda cans.  It's a gamble, though, because bears have been known to raid the contents of the spring before the humans get back to claim their chilled fruit or drinks!  [Imagine empty soda cans all marked with bear tooth puncture holes that are tossed for yards all around].

The mowing needs done.  The cabin and the homestead cabin both go from meadow "weeds" to a more manicured "mowed" appearance.  Paintbrush Lane, from gate to cabin, is also mowed and trimmed.

Scraggly trees are trimmed, just like they are at home, from the bottom branches up to as high as the man of the mountain can reach.  It's starting to look quite civilized around here.

But once the mowing and trimming is done, it is on to other things.  Like fencing!  The cows are enjoying the open range at points lower on the mountain and will be up soon [when upper mountain grass looks greener than what's below].  There are places they need to be kept out of --- like the areas that supply water for humans down in the valley.

Brent revamps a gate near the homestead cabin, carefully using old timbers and ties so that the finished project looks like it has been that way for years and years.  How authentic is that?

The project is done, the signs put back, and it's time to think of food.  The mountain man becomes quite hungry after working so hard at his [self appointed] tasks.

Sunshine graces the cozy cabin, adding some needed warmth to its coolness.  It is between weather; too warm for a fire in the stove, but a bit chilly without sunshine or a sweater.

What's for lunch?  Corn on the cob, potato salad, brown rice with zucchini and sweet onions, salad greens, and cookies!  Oh, and don't forget the Rainier cherries!

Dishes to wash.  They can drip dry.  Cheerful music playing on the radio.  My mind whirling with thoughts and ideas as I tidy up the kitchen.  Brent is back to his outdoor projects.  I tease him about thinking he has to clean up the entire forest!  I cannot complain, though.  It's looking really good. 

Quiet.  Favorite magazines from Mary Jane's Farm give much food for thought.  Sustainability. Practicality.  Authenticity.  Creativity.  So much to think about!

The shadows lengthen and it's time to go back to the valley below.  Good-bye little tree frog.  See you next week [he will be there].  Sweep the floors.  Board the windows and secure the doors. Bear-proof the iron chairs [bring them back from the ridge so they don't get pushed over the edge!].  Last minute tasks.  It is all a part of the good-bye ritual.

Until next time, little green cabin.  My imagination hears the croak of the frog and the sound of the birds.  And to the little bear who ran away from our truck as fast as his legs could carry him, keep out of trouble, ya hear?


  1. There's always so much to be done, both inside and out. It really looks cozy and charming. Do you have the chance to spend vacations there? Several weeks at a time ever?

  2. Ahh...such a nice home away from home!

  3. My cousin has a cabin in upper Michigan that they go to most weekends. There's always work to be done and rituals that take place as they arrive and leave. Nothing better than nature and a mountain man with the great outdoors to keep him entertained. My husband is a big grouch if he doesn't have something to keep him busy. Your lunch sounds absolutely delicious. My kinda meal for sure! My husband loves zucchini with onions. A blogger friend sent me a copy of Mary Jane's Farm. Love that magazine. Have a great day. Tammy

  4. What a sweet post, La Tea Dah. What is that red building with the purple roof? Your mountain hideaway looks peaceful and charming. Thanks for sharing that little spot of beauty. Susan

  5. How did I miss this post? You know how fond I've grown of your mountain, and your little cabin! :)

    Blessings, Debbie


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