It's been quiet around here for a reason. I've had my focus completely on The Project, which, as should be no great surprise, is a book. On fibers. My last post here was January 26, and on February 1 co-author Carol Ekarius and I turned in what we'd thought for quite a while was the whole book. However, a meeting (which I did not attend) held on January 11 changed the scope (adding 25% more material) and extended the deadline for creating the expanded portion until March 1. It has taken us two years to do the work we turned in on February 1.
Blog posts, sleep, and income-earning work all got shoved even farther aside than they had been (which was, basically, off the back of the desk already), along with everything but eating enough to keep up energy, short yoga sessions and walks with the dog so the body doesn't seize up and quit working, and . . . working. It's become clear that I won't make the March 1 deadline, but the text we sent on February 1 will keep the editorial folks busy enough that they are highly unlikely to care that we're a little late with the second batch.
The good news in all this is that the book is scheduled for release this fall.
This post will be short.
I have holed up in a cabin in the woods again so that I can get as much accomplished in a day as is humanly possible. Mostly there are many, many fewer distractions here (I have another short post on what it's like here; that will have to wait for another moment to get written—actually, I have several partly written posts in folders strewn around my hard drive). However, Wednesday there was a lot of distraction.
Looking out the window in front of the kitchen table at which I'm working, I saw these:
It's a mom and her near-grown calf. I got a number of pictures, because they hung out for a very long time in the morning. Mostly I just kept wandering over to the window to watch them.
Then, after more than an hour of slow, browsing movement heading north, something inspired them to dash off to the south:
But they returned again at the end of the afternoon—this is about 25 yards (23m) from me:
And decided to bed down for the evening. That's mom. The calf is in the woods to the right.
Here's a better photo by a writer friend, Judy Brenneman, who was here at the time working on a dramatic monologue (and being distracted by the moose). She has a better camera than I do. And invested a bit more patience in her shots. I kept grabbing quick photos and then thinking I should be working. . . . She actually went to a different window with a better viewing angle. You can see the "little" guy in the small trees on the right side of her photo.
That's about 50 yards (46m) from where I'm sitting right now.
Yet when I got up Thursday morning and looked out my bedroom window, I saw tracks and marks in the snow that hadn't been there the previous evening—and this is about 6 yards (5.5m) from the house:
I tweaked the photo, making it somewhat odd-looking, to emphasize the shadows and I put on Xs for the extent of an area that looked a whole lot like a moose resting place. I didn't see two tamped-down areas for the two animals, but I also didn't go look because I didn't want to add my boot-marks to the record . . . and there are two sets of moose-like tracks.
Now I really-o, truly-o need to get back to work. I am studying ungulates, but not this kind at this moment. . . .