Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Ramble Before the Road

By the time you read this, we'll be on the road headed up to Humboldt County for two days to see family. We'll probably be without internet connection until Tuesday, so I thought I'd get this Monday post up early. The cool part about this trip, besides seeing Indigo and Sky (Roger's middle daughter and her husband), is that they are renting a 40 acre horse ranch in the part of California we are thinking about settling in, after we sell our place in Washington. So, we go with plans to take a good, albeit short, look around.
Here's something you probably thought you'd never see. Why would anyone post a photograph of their bed? It's to set the scene for the story I'm going to tell you, of course. Here's where Roger and I sleep in the old beach house. We always keep the window above our bed as wide open as it will go. We like lots of fresh air, even in winter when the temps dip into the 30s here. We don't mind, we just pile on more blankets. I think you can see that there is plastic netting in the window. That's to keep the cat in. He's not very agile, and the bedroom is on the second floor, with the roof of the extended first story just below, so we didn't want provide an attractive nuisance for him. He does like to sit on my pillow (the one on the left) and look out the window during the day. At night he mostly sleeps curled up at our feet, but lately he's been sneaking up beside me and scrunching down next to my pillow to sleep. Poor Roger gets the brunt of it because I move over to let the cat have room. I often wake in the night and find Bonsai sitting beside me staring out into the darkened night. I suspect he is hearing and seeing things that just escape my lowly senses. I pet him and go back to sleep.

The other night I awoke to Bonsai hissing and spitting up a storm, right next to me. I couldn't believe the racket. So, I looked out the window and there was a raccoon staring right back in at me. He wasn't more than a foot away. I said, "Go on, get out of here," and the raccoon took off. I was shocked to find Bonsai holding his ground like that. It's not a behavior we expect from him at all. We've heard him respond like that to cats that invade his territory, but a raccoon? That seemed very unusual. We posted this raccoon post some time ago, about how a raccoon used to come in through Bonsai's cat door when we lived in our old house in Santa Cruz. Bonsai sure didn't take a stand for territory then, and the raccoon was in the house eating his food. He hides from dogs, bobcats, and other raccoons up in Washington. So, we wonder, why did Bonsai not just retreat, jump off the bed and hide? What do you think?
We took another longer hike in the Pogonip on Saturday with my twin brother and SIL. It was hot. Really hot, like 72 degrees. That's rather balmy for February even on the central coast. The shadowy parts of the trail offered great respite, and even a bit of a chill, which quickly warmed up when we broke out into the sunny coastal prairie again. It definitely felt like springtime. There were Monarchs and even a Mourning Cloak flying about. We saw a California Thrasher for the first time. What a beautiful bird, with a truly melodious song.

Well, that's it until Wednesday. We're off for Humboldt County, through San Francisco, over the Golden Gate, the Redwoods, and Eureka. See you when we get back.

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