On this most recent visit, circumstances permitted me to stay behind for several days after DS left. When we left the city, there had been promise of nice weather in the second week, but we all know what weather forecasters' promises are worth. Still, I was hopeful for a bit of sun, and figured my staying behind would make the between-visits stretch a little shorter, therefore mitigating the beavers' effects somewhat.
I did draft a list of things I could do, if I felt the need to do something other than just drift through the days. Surprisingly, I did manage to get one of those things done.
I had mentally been moving the two sections of the wall unit from their current positions, and reuniting them on the new wall we built in December. If I wanted to do this on my own though, I had to figure out how to handle the centre piece that is suspended by virtue of it being screwed into it's adjoining neighbours. The wall unit is built of 1/2" melamine. Certainly, this could be expected to make the tall pieces fairly heavy, but the centre piece is about half the height of the tall pieces. This wall unit was custom-built and has a significant difference from those you will find in retail stores: the back is also 1/2" melamine.
Since we had made the trip with both vehicles, we had filled the pick-up with various items we were ready to live without in the city. This had included my rolling tool-box/workbench. I had used it as a trolley to move the old 29" CRT TV when I had come down with the new 32" LCD TV on the previous visit. On a hunch, I rolled it into the nook under the centre piece of the wall unit. It fit like a glove. This gave me the ability to remove the screws without the centre piece coming crashing down. Luckily, the combined heights also fit under the beam in the LR, so long as I crossed under it near it's centre. I figured I could carefully, tilting the unit along the front-to-back axis, slide pieces of wood under it to raise it to the level I needed so that the old TV would fit in the nook and be at the right height for viewing from the LR seats.
Once the other units were in place and levelled, I measured. I'd have to raise the centre part 8" to get the desired result. It wasn't easy tilting it forwards from the back, as I had no hand-holds, but I eventually got it done safely.
One evening, while I'm on the phone with DS 'round about sunset, I see a shadow and movement out of the corner of my eye. I turn my head and catch a glance of a horse's butt disappearing out of the south-facing LR window. A horse's butt??? By the time I process this info, I realize it has to be a moose. I tell DS what I saw as I get up and go to the patio door. Sure enough, standing alongside the deck, about 10 feet from me, is a young moose.
He must have seen the movement of me appearing in the doorway out of the corner of his eye, because he turns his head towards me and places one hoof on the deck. I am convinced he would have strolled over to take a better look at me, had it not been for the dog choosing that exact instance to bark. Meanwhile, I'm telling DS on the phone that there is a moose here. "Where?" she asks. "Right there", I reply in a somewhat exasperated tone...funny how our brains work sometimes.
Then DS, ever the photographer, tells me "Get your videocamera out!" I have to think where it is - right in front of me on the coffee-table, get it out of it's case, flip it open, open the lenscap aim and start recording, with one hand, because the other is holding the phone and I'm not quick enough to think to put it down. While I'm doing this, the moose decides to distance himself. He trots about 30 feet away, towards the picnic tables on the edge of the clearing at the south end of the house. I just manage to start recording when he ambles up the short steep slope, between the two picnic tables, and disappears into the darkness of the clearing. I got video, but all you can really see is a shadow. Bummer.
The next morning, I take the dog out for a walk and let him smell the tracks. Ever the brave one, he sits down near the deck and barks his warning of "And stay out!" from a safe distance and never even thinks of following the tracks. I laugh, because I recognize the behaviour: it is what small dogs do when we encounter them with Duster while walking in the city. They say nothing until he has passed and is a safe distance away, then they bark up a storm. Hilarious to see our 90-lb 'brave boy' doing the same thing.
This leads DS and I to surmise that if we see this much wildlife close up on our infrequent visits, just imagine what we're missing when we're not there! Of course this fuels the desire to be up there full-time even more.