I’m working at my Roshara cabin on this cold, minus-12 degree morning. My wood stove keeps me warm, and a bright sun on this clear day encourages me to take a long walk—but I’m waiting until the temperature at least crawls up to zero.
I glance up and spot two deer, a large one and a small one. Mother and offspring? Perhaps. The smaller one is the braver of two. It walks to within six feet of my cabin, never bothering to look up at me watching through the window only a few feet away. It nibbles at the dead grass I have uncovered when I plowed my driveway yesterday. It lifts its head occasionally to look at my truck—only a half dozen feet from where it eats. Curious, but not afraid.
The larger deer is more cautious. She stands behind the big maple tree west of my cabin, peering around the tree’s trunk at her offspring, but not coming any closer. She eventually finds her way into the tangle of black willow trees and underbrush that serve as a windbreak for my cabin. There she browses on willow shoots, not chancing a possible danger in coming too close to the cabin and that mysterious gray truck.
I watch the deer for fifteen minutes or so. They seem not to mind the cold, and apparently are encouraged to venture forth on this late winter, frigid morning in search of breakfast. Perhaps it’s the clear blue sky and the bright sun that is encouraging. A bright sun in a cloudless sky, especially this time of the year, encourages me. This I know.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Sunshine is encouraging, no matter how cold it may be.
Thursday, March 5. 7:00 p.m. McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids. Great Sand Fracas of Ames County and intro to my new book, Whispers and Shadows.
Sunday, March 22, 3:00-5:30 p.m. Schumacher Farm Volunteers Recognition. Waunakee Village Center. Stories from the land.
Wednesday, March 25. Noon. Banquet speaker for Wisconsin Agriculturist Magazine Farmer of the Year Award Program. Oshkosh. Farm Stories.
Tuesday, April 7, 6:30. Heritage Hill Museum, Green Bay. Garden Wisdom
Tuesday, April 14, 7:00 p.m. Friends of Eau Claire Library. Eau Claire, WI. Stories from the land.
Sunday, April 19, 7:00 p.m. Lebanon Historical Society, Lebanon Community center. Stories from the land.
Monday, April 20, Noon. Fox Valley Book Festival, UW-Fox Valley. Whispers and Shadows
Wednesday, April 22, 6:30 Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Whispers and Shadows.
Friday, April 24, 8:00 p.m. Ice Age Trail Org. Wis. Dells, Winter Green Resort. Old Farm
Tuesday, April 28, 6:30 Black River Falls Library, Sky Line Golf Course. Stories from the land