We made it down to freezing this morning which means the big cats got me up at 5 to light the wood stove. Fish and Ciaran stayed under the covers until they felt it was a decent hour to emerge (and also the house would be warmer).
Most of the hunters have returned home and are now sitting in blinds here on the Island. That is when they aren’t getting tons of bait out to defrost and preparing for the opening of Lobster Season on tuesday. I’m just puttering around here.
You can tell I’d had too much coffee when I went out at sunrise to grab a few photos – I should just attach my jacket to the stupid tripod. I’m showing you the current state of the 6 cords of wood (I’m splitting the smaller stuff and have a good stack in the garage). You’ll also see that the recent windstorm did a great job of blowing all the fall leaves off the trees.
When I ordered the wood I was told it was “mumble Hack??? mumble“. I tried searching variations of the sounds I heard but couldn’t find anything. When it was delivered I asked again and got a remarkably similar answer. It has taken weeks of probing to get the word “hackmatack” and the explanation that this is what it’s called here. (Honestly, one of these days I’m going to write a Campobello-English dictionary!) “Great” I said, “Now what do they call it somewhere else?” The answer was “tamarack”. sigh
Some more online research and I discovered that these are names for the Eastern or Red Larch (finally a tree I’ve heard of). It’s supposed to be a “hard softwood” and burns hotter than some of the real hardwoods.
I fell in love with it as soon as I started splitting the logs. There are NO bugs in it! No woodbugs, or earwigs, or centipedes, or anonymous giant white larvae. Knowing it will keep me warm is just the gravy. 🙂
I mentioned the newest member of the family in the last post so I’ll give you an update on Ciaran (pronounced Keeran). The four animals are establishing cordial relations and, so far, there has been no fighting. Fish is still jealous but doesn’t spend as much time barking about it.
The extra toes on this kitten turn out to be a “thing”. The official name for a cat with an abnormally large number of toes is “polydactyl”. The more common name, though, is Hemingway Cat. The author received one in the 1930s and his name has been associated with them ever since.
I should also mention that I’m only able to write this post because Ciaran is asleep. I made the mistake of playing a cat game video for him and now he jumps up on the desk and bats at the screen until I bring it back. This morning Fergus insisted on joining him. I guess we can say all is right at the moment with my world. I’ll have to find out how to express that in “Campobello”. 🙂
My cat Torvald was a polydactyl cat. His extra toe was actually an opposable thumb – he could actually use it to hook the cat flap open. He was the terror of the neighbourhood.
Cravendale Milk ran a great campaign using polydactyl cats – you can see it here: https://youtu.be/EmJhv6W_URY
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Thank you. I won’t tell Ciaran about Torvald’s skill – I’m afraid of what might happen. 🙂