A country story...



It has been mild so far this winter here in the New Hampshire woods . Sure we have had a couple of dustings of snow and some freezing rain but nothing to speak of for a "real" New England winter. Now some of you know I adore living in the woods in my little converted barn, and a place I have come to call my piece of Nirvana (far, far away from my home in NYC)!


When DH and I first moved here I reveled everyday in the natural beauty and quiet of the place (and still do). The thing that astonished and enthralled me the most was all of the wildlife here in our tiny piece of the forest.

For the first few weeks we lived here one by one a new species showed itself to us as if letting us know they lived here too and to check us out. We couldn't have been more thrilled as we discovered we had a pair of ravens, a pair of owls, a pair of coyotes, a black bear, red fox, wild turkeys galore, quail, white tailed deer (although it took them a little while longer before they let us see them), our resident porcupine, and of course a myriad of wild birds, red and grey squirrels and of course chipmunks and two different species of mice, the field mouse and the ever present house mouse!


As I made friends with this abundance of creatures as best I could... I wanted them to know that this space was theirs, they were safe here and they were welcome anytime, and for as long as they wanted. Unfortunately, the mice are the ones who took this welcome a little too much to heart and have thoroughly moved in! Honestly, I'm sure in this 100+ year old barn that the myriad mouse trails leading to and fro predate us by well, at least a century, lol! But I stray from the story and the mice are for another time.



I had intended on keeping a country journal, which as with most things, I have fallen sadly short on entries. I will catch up at some point in the near future as the winter inspires me the most with watching nature and writing about it.

Perhaps now would be a good time to give you the plot that prompted this counterpoint! I am so excited and in awe I don't quite know how to begin... so with your permission I'll just dive in at the deep end of the pool. Wednesday evening just at dusk... I finally saw our ghost species that I had heard resided here but had yet to see. For whatever reason he finally chose this particular moment to show himself in all his grace and magnificence.
 
As dusk was beginning to settle around us I was going around the house turning lights on. I had just closed one of the bedroom windows from the mere inch it was open and I glanced out to the meadow as has become a habit over the years.  Two of our wild turkeys, I have taken to calling them "our girls" were out some distance in the meadow when movement closer to the house suddenly caught my eye.
 
 
At first I thought, "now who do you belong to" already starting to worry about another stray cat. He was a rather pudgy brownish orange tiger striped cat but there was something different about him... he walked with an air of confidence and perceived silence that was unfamiliar.

As he approached the house with not an ounce of discernible fear he also got bigger... stocky and not an ounce of fat on him. He walked through our newly dug garden bed and alongside the back porch.  As he rounded the corner of the house and out of my line of vision I ran to the front window. When I arrived he had stopped not more than a few feet from the window along side our ancient lilac bush and that was when it became clear... I was looking at our resident and stunningly beautiful bobcat!!! 

Photo: Bobcat sitting on a rock

I actually stopped breathing for a moment as this astonishing realization washed over me. I'd heard that there was a bobcat in the area but we have lived here for almost 6 years now and I had not seen a single clue that led me to believe the stories were true. Now, here he was in all his magnificent glory standing just a few feet away from me! He just stood there for a few moments sniffing the air and listening then just as suddenly as he had appeared he walked down our driveway and disappeared into the woods across our dirt road!

As always hugs and thanks for popping by for a visit...
Beth

Comments

Magpie said…
What an astonishing sight to see! He must have been gorgeous. I assume he's well-equipped to thrive in the New England winter. Maybe he heard you were overrun with mice and came to lend a hand, er...paw.
Pam said…
Thanks for sharing a peek into the beautiful place where you live! Although, I would be a bit scared of the bears around!! But everything else looks wonderful!
Renee said…
What a lovely place to live Beth! Isn't country living wonderful? We see lots of wildlife around our cottage as well & I am always in awe. I have never been lucky enough to get up close to a bobcat (or lynx as we call them here) have just seen them at a distance. A few weeks ago I saw the most incredible wolf at the edge of the tree line when driving along our road. Much to my horror someone shot him a few days later. So sad!
Thanks for sharing your lovely pictures.
Hugs, Renee