SEASONAL CHANGES..There is not much green grass along the shoreline these days, but the blues of the sky and sea make up for vibrancy. It was windy this day, and I wonder if you can figure out where this picture might have been taken. I'll wait until the end of this page to let you in on that secret.

Meanwhile, as I write, we are having a snow that should last long enough for me to get out and share the experience with you. I thought we would only get a dusting, but it looks more like 3 inches and still falling! The temperatures have been on an up and down scale. Yesterday it was almost balmy, but today it is in the 20's so the snow may last a bit longer.

I have been trying to connect with a friend who is planning to live outside year around. He makes primitive survival shelters in which to spend the dark, cold nights protected. I wanted to see how he built these structures, so we built one together. Here he is, checking out the length and the height of the shelter. Using no tools, but your hands, you scrounge around to find a ridge pole of a suitable length. The next step is to find a couple of forked branches to hold the pole at a certain height. Then, you find shorter sticks to lean all along the ridge pole, making a tent-like structure. Finally, you pick up armloads of leaves and pile them on top for insulation and protection until it is hidden from view. Picking the site for building is also important. Consideration of the sun's rays and backing up to a high exposed rock are both crucial, as well as hiding the opening at one end. In this case, Hemlock branches hid the entrance. My friend will sleep in this shelter, but I'm not so sure I am ready to make my own shelter and join him. Maybe we can make such shelters at the campground. It is helpful to smoke out the interior before retiring so as to discourage any insects or other animals who might choose to use the shelter!

Here is a picture taken after a hurried, frigid outing to the island. The wind was fierce and contributed to the cold. I would take off my gloves for a picture and nearly freeze! The beaver, however was out swimming in the unfrozen Lily Pond. I liked the looks of its lodge, that rose like an igloo from the water. I couldn't help but marvel at this animal's amazing insulation. As you can see, we've had a couple inches of snow. I saw tracks of squirrel and crow. Usually, you have to wait after a snow, to give the animals some time (preferably overnight) to get out and about. I saw no porcupine tracks exiting or entering their sites under the latrines. I'll try again to record these tracings, hopefully when the wind dies down.

OK, as for that picture above, if you look closely, you should see the Kelp Shed (white) on Head Beach. So you are looking north toward the island from a point of land where the movie, Head Above Water, was filmed. This land is privately owned, and I've recently become acquainted with the owner who has given me permission to hike out and explore the area. As a kid, I used to hike all around the point from Seawall. Things are different now, but every once in a while you meet up with an owner that shares a love of this area and wants to protect it. 12/10/06 Frigid and unsheltered, Ronnie.