It worked! I went to sleep in the camper Saturday night and woke up Sunday morning at 5 AM, leaving plenty of time to go home, clean up, and get to work at 9:30 AM
The night was warm, requiring only one sleeping bag. When I awoke the world was still dark. I stared out the screen window at the foot of my bed and listened for animals, both hopeful and fearful that something exotic would wander by. I heard noises on the water. At first, it was the sound of a soft, light flop: a fish breaking the water’s surface. Then I heard a decidedly heavier sound, a flummmp. Fish big enough to make that sound do not reside in this reservoir. That had to be a muskrat, which live in all our local reservoirs.
After making coffee I herded Tango into the van for the trip back to town. I drove slowly in hopes of avoiding a confrontation with deer and other critters, and the ride took nearly 30 mins. An owl tried to attack the van but missed me. I don’t understand why the uppity, supposedly wise owls undertake these kamikaze missions.
Anyway, after all my Sunday routines, I go to church at the usual time and carry on. Shortly after, I put on some clean grubbies and head back out to the camper.
I spend a long time laying down inside the camper, while propped up on my elbows and staring once again out the window. I want to see whatever there is to see on a fall afternoon. I am in the cage now, and the creatures are out there, hopefully unaware of my presence. Nothing much wanders by so I take a break from my viewing, and make a hot chocolate. I decide to add a swish of coconut rum and settle back down to stare some more.
My efforts are rewarded. Coming from the water is a loud ruckus of seagull voices. In full view: a flotilla of Double-Breasted Cormorants feasting on small fish. The sea gulls are hovering over them squawking and trying to steal their catch. A few cormorants fly out to chase away the seagulls, then hit the water again. The sea gulls attack louder causing quite a frenzy. The floating comedy show moves on by, apparently following the fish.
Next up on the wilderness channel, a storm moves in. The winds pick up and a few sprinkles fall, causing terror in the heart of Tango. He hates noise of any kind and frantically jumps up on the bed as if I can magically stop the noise. The trees bend from the wind and white caps appear on the reservoir, but little else happens: no pouring rain or lightening.
The conditions are rarely good enough for me to spend several nights out here. In the summer, the days are too hot. In the late fall, winter, and early spring—most of the year—the winds howl and it is cold. However, with the heater in my new camper, I may be able to come out again before winter or again in the early spring, as long as the wind is not blowing.
This trip, I keep occupied in the early evenings by photographing animal and bird tracks. The water is way out, leaving soft soil and sand that has the imprint of recent visitors to the water’s edge.
Tonight, however, is Sunday night football. I carefully position the van along the back of the camper, to maximize listening to the satellite radio from inside the camper. Yes, clever. Necessity is the mother of invention and football is necessary. Monday night football is even more important this week, as the Broncos play again on prime time.
Before I go some evening photos from last night:
- At the Field Office (janesjournals.wordpress.com)