There is a virtual highway right in front of the cabin. In fact, one tree it’s perfectly framed by the sliding door wall leading to the deck. It has many branches that go in all directions. I’m talking about the jack pine in the middle of the little woodlot leading to the lake.
Thirty six years ago, when we built the cabin, the jack pine was about five feet tall. We let it stand, though we wanted maples. Since then, maples have taken hold and have far surpassed the jack pine in height. A white pine is in the mix along with poplar. The poplar have taken over in height and overshadow the jack pine causing it to twist and bend around them to reach the sun as it grows. Still, it’s the focus of the woodlot when you look at it through the door wall.
The branches of the trees overlap in spots, creating a runway for several different types of squirrels to race from one tree to another to get to various birdfeeders or just in play with one another. Seamus used to sit on the deck, still as a rock, waiting for one to misjudge a jump and end up on the ground, then pounce from the deck like a flash of light in an attempt to get the squirrel. He never did of course, but he sure had fun trying. Gus, at eight months old, is catching on to the game. He’s a little quicker than Seamus was, I think he might have a chance.
All but the pines are bare now, but as the snow recedes, the remnants of last year’s leaves become visible and in a few weeks will occupy our time getting rid of them. There was a time when that thought would send chills up my spine, but this year, for some reason, I’m looking forward to it.
It’s a sunny day and the squirrels are taking full advantage of it; crisscrossing the highway of branches. Gus too is taking advantage of it. I just hope he remembers there is a glass door between him and the squirrels.