I have difficulty believing Winter is almost upon us. Living in the Cariboo, I have found Spring and Autumn to be of short duration. Already, most Leaves have fallen off their Tree, to cover the ground beneath with a patchwork blanket of gold.
Most mornings, there is also Frost...not much, yet, mind you...not enough to bother still blooming late Flowers, Kale or Carrots. But Tomatoes are finishing their life cycle in the little cold frame greenhouse, in which it is usually ten degrees above whatever the temperatures are outside.
The Magic Apple has been picked, polished and eaten. It was the best Apple! We cut it in half...within one or two bites it was gone...a small taste of Autumn. We are awaiting the results the Magic Apple has promised to bring...
It seems as if there was hardly any Summer weather this year. By the time Lakes in the area warmed up enough to swim in comfortably, smoke obscured Sun's rays and breathing was difficult.
And, as soon as the smoke lifted and left, the weather turned cold and stormy. To be sure, it warmed up again, but many degrees cooler. A month before the calendar said it was supposed to, Autumn weather arrived.
Animals are travelling down from higher valleys...Deer and Moose are becoming quite common along the highways. They travel through our property, as well, along with the predators who follow in hopes of a meal.
Those predators surprised me the other day. When I came home from a Hospice vigil, I gave both Dogs a bone, as a reward for being good and staying home alone for quite a few hours. They each took their bone to opposite ends of the house, to lie on the Grass and enjoy their chew.
I made myself a cup of Tea and took it out onto the deck, to sit and think about the morning and let sadness dissipate...
The weather was warm and sunny...I could hear crisp, yellow Leaves swish as they fell, to join their compatriots already on the ground.
But, other than that, there was only the silence of Nature. I could barely hear the construction on the highway far below me, which is unusual. After the bustle in the hospital, the calm soothed me.
It was the kind of afternoon where the hum of Bees and Wasps could easily induce a drowsy slumber, but after a morning away, I had things to do. I did not heed the call for a nap.
I stared mindlessly across the property to a huge, old Stump which still exists even following attack after attack by Bear and Bug.
But there was something different this day about that Stump.
I've just purchased new glasses; I cannot believe the difference compared to my old ones. I can see! Without blurring! And so, what I may have missed with my old glasses, I saw with sharp clarity the difference concerning the old Stump.
There was a dark Wolf sitting in front of it.
I thought it was a Dog at first. I tilted my head to see better...but it was Sun's rays which glinted off of golden eyes that made me sure.
He sat in the shade of Trees surrounding the Stump...he was almost undetectable. But once my eyes focused on his, the shape and colour of his body became more apparent.
He sat very still, his ears tilted forward, his nose in the Air. My first thought was where were the Dogs and why had they not sounded an alarm?
I can only surmise that they were busy with their bones, with the Breeze coming from the North, blowing Wolf's scent away from them.
His colouring was very dark. His long front legs were stiff, full of tension. His ears were long and perked...when his eyes met mine, I felt the now familiar jolt inside. That jolt always happens when an Animal visits and our eyes meet.
He did not stay long. When he stood, I watched in awe. He was big...I believe he was the biggest I've seen here. I prayed the Dogs would continue with their bones...there is no way either of them would survive an encounter with this Wolf.
His eyes never left mine. I was afraid to move. There were many thoughts racing through my mind...Would Wolf jump the fence and attack the Dogs for their bones? Would the Dogs finally realize Wolf was there and decide on a foolish confrontation? And...why did I not have my camera?
One of the thoughts I had was that this Wolf could never leave soundlessly, with all the dry Grasses and crispy Leaves strewn about. But he proved me wrong.
He wheeled about, his head turning back, his eyes still locked on mine. And then, oh so silently, he melted into the brush, as if he had never been.
That's when Magpie appeared.
I haven't seen a Magpie here, ever.
According to my Bird books, he ranges all the way to Alaska...there should be no reason for his absence here. In fact, when I moved here, I was looking forward to seeing this sassy Bird and interacting with him. He was very rare on the Island, if he was there at all.
He sat on a branch above where Wolf had settled. I watched him for a bit...he was not there long...and I marvelled at this Bird, who, in the 1930's, evaded efforts to exterminate him. He was thought to be a threat to crops and livestock.
The thing that drew my eye to his appearance was the flash of white I saw as he settled on another branch in the Tree above the Stump.
Such a whiter than white belly he had! I wondered how long he had been there...had he arrived along with the Wolf?
I couldn't find anything in my research with reference to the two of them commonly travelling as companions, but I am convinced anything is possible.
After someone I have sat with dies, it is not uncommon for small miracles or sightings of wild Animals to occur. Usually, there will be a message involved as well...one telling me the deceased is well and moving forward on their new journey.
And then, there is the personal message which the Animal represents, as well...
Winter and extreme weather is indeed almost upon us. But before it arrives, I hope I have many more Animal encounters in a day just like this one...the day of the Wolf and Magpie.
We are intending on taking advantage of the cool, crisp mornings and the warm afternoons by taking a trip to the Kootenay district of BC. During that time, I will have no computer access. I will be back in a few days..