The mystery of an eggshell

The mystery of an eggshell

Yes, dear reader, it’s been 100 days now.  One hundred days of opening the door, walking outside.  Through blizzard, through frigid thirteen below zero days, through a tropical vacation down in southern Florida.  It’s been everything.  It’s been fun, it’s been not-so-fun, it’s been a learning experience, it’s been the best year of my life so far!!  (OK, I’ve said that before.  But this year is hands-down one of the best, so far.)

Should I list all 100 activities enjoyed outside?  A solstice party, walking on snow, sitting under a spruce tree, dogsled races, meditating outdoors, dozens and dozens of walks, winter camping, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice fishing, filling the wood room, winter festivals, roof shoveling (scary!),  outdoor art shows, after-dark explorations, reading outside at 10 degrees (brrr…),  learning how to photograph all sorts of wild creatures & natural phenomenon, boating….OK!  That’s enough. 

Mostly I’ve simply walked outside and listened to the stories that nature wants to share and then just…elaborated on them a tiny bit.   Way fun!  (Much more fun since the shivering during below zero days has abated.  We hope it’s abated for this year anyway.)

Looks like a field of acorns to rake up, doesn't it?

Looks like a field of spruce cones to rake up, doesn't it?

We shall add raking to the list, as of today.  I surveyed the extensive litter of spruce cones beneath the pine tree with a sigh.  You’d think one might feel more enthusiasm for a little spring spruce-up (no pun intended!) but the yard-cleaning-up energy seemed slow to start.  Instead I peered down at the oddest thing.  An egg shell!  Where had it come from?  I looked up and down and attempted to solve the mystery. 

Here are two probable answers:  1)  from a nest up high there in the spruce or 2) it’s a broken shell from our compost heap that somehow migrated beneath the spruce. 

Before beginning the raking, I meandered out to check the mail.  Guess what’s lying beneath a pine tree near the mailbox?  Another nearly identical egg shell!  If it wasn’t the 100th day of this blog, the title would be:  The Day of the Egg Shells.  Are they falling from the sky?

Time to rake.

Tinest perfect feather hidden among the spruce cones

Tiniest perfect feather hidden among the spruce cones

The first ten minutes of raking I was a bit unenthusiastic, but after discovering the above feather my spirits lifted.  I needed the wheelbarrow to load up the spruce cones, but it’s buried behind lawn tractor and snowmobile in the shed.  What to do?  I found two large white buckets and snow-scooped the cones into the buckets.  Carried them across the lawn and dumped them.  Maybe ten to twelve trips.  By then, I was enjoying the rhythm of outdoor spring cleaning.

Getting reaquainted with our rake

Getting reacquainted with our rake

No need to worry; I’m sure there will be plenty more outdoor chores this spring…