It has been a typical dull Michigan winter the past few weeks. The sky and the snow-dusted fields and the icy roads all blend together into one vast dull gray canvass. We rarely get to see any sun. The only interesting color comes when we watch the bird feeder and the bright red cardinals and an occasional flicker woodpecker flit in and out of the picture. This morning there must have been a whole flock of cardinals among the hoards of little finch-y birds competing for a place on the rim of the feeder.
Our dog, Fionn, seems to like the snow. It has flattened the grasses to some extent so that there is less bounding required to see where he is going, but the little animals have more hiding spaces under the drifts. We only have a few inches so far which is just enough to be interesting. I think Fionn is hoping for a big blizzard to send him a new playground. He has been wistfully gazing out the window and I think he knows what may be coming. It is more difficult to have him in the house with us now because he likes to snuffle underneath and bring up a mound of snow on his nose and balled up onto his beard and legs so that it melts slowly onto the carpet and furniture. I feel bad confining him to his cage till he dries off every time he comes in.
One interesting new development is that now that we have some snow, we can follow the tracks of the animals in the field. Yesterday we found the tracks of two deer. There used to be a herd of 8-12 each year that lived in the woods here. Last year they were decimated by a disease and it has come down to 2 small hearty refugees. I guess natural selection will do them some good. I almost ran into them the other day on the road, so I hope they begin to get a little smarter about avoiding traffic. In the snow, Fionn and I were able to follow their trail and see where they like to walk. Once they get far enough from the house, they are content to walk on the trails that were mowed in the summer. When we have more snow cover, it will be interesting to see if they have a bedding area somewhere in the denser weeds.
Our house-building project is progressing as it should, but the new developments are hard to show in a picture because they are small things on the inside. I am waiting for the siding to be installed because that will make a big difference. We have picked out all the internal colors, tile, granite and flooring, which was quite a task. The drywall is about done and the external doors have been installed. The geothermal system is working great and it is warm and toasty inside, but they are still working on getting the heater for my pool room to do the job. I am confident that it will all come together because my husband is paying close attention and he is great with the detail. It will be so great to see it finish up in the next month or so, so that we will be able to get our stuff out of storage and begin to move in.