It's a cool misty day here in the Greatland. That in itself is a blessing - we've been BLAZING hot up here for weeks, and half the state is on fire. It's been so hazy with trapped humidity and smoke for the last 2 weeks that there have been days on end where not even the dusky ghosts of the mountains have been visible - and this is somewhat remarkable, since I am nearly surrounded by mountains, two ranges of which are quite near by. Some mornings on my way to work it looked more like the Great Smokies than Alaska, the moist nightly expirations of the plants rising mistily from narrow alleys of marsh fingering in between the ramparts of the trees. The scent of fire has been hanging in the air, faintly ominous, for more than a week. Fire danger is high all over, and nary a bit of rain. One night this week when I drove home from work it was 89 degrees, and as muggy as ever the East coast was when I lived there, struggling under the paired yokes of heat and humidity.
WHY did I move to Alaska, again?
Oh, yeah. Because I love it here.
Today it's deliciously cool - 55 degrees at 5 a.m. when I got up and looked at the thermometer - and the low overcast is scattering the light into a diffuse pearly glow that seems to come both from nowhere, and from everywhere at once. The air is soft and tender and sweet, without the edgy bite of wildfire. Soft veils of fog hover 20 feet above the ground, and mist is rising off the lake to meet them. The water is glassy-calm, inert and heavy as mercury in the still morning. Ducks paddle gently along, dragging sliver-edged wakes behind them. I can hear the loons, shrouded invisibly in the mist, their voices eerie and beautiful, haunting the morning.
Nearer by, and more prosaically, the magpies are squabbling vociferously over something. As I tend to leave my back yard door open at night- the yard is fenced to discourage wandering wildlife, and if that does not suffice, five dogs in the house usually DO - I am pleased the magpies have something to interest them in the yard. It has not occurred to me until this morning, but the magpies could quite easily swoop on in through my open door and wreak havoc in my kitchen. They're noisy, messy, inquisitive birds, like all the corvids, and between boldness, greed and curiosity, God only knows what might tempt them indoors. As it happens, I have an absolute plethora of them this year; it appears I have a nest on my property, as there are mornings when I can count at least 5 fledgelings in the trees along my driveway, all hopping wildly into the trees as I drive by them, not quite fully-flighted yet.
This morning I have a parvo puppy in the clinic to go attend to, so when I wake up at 5:00, I get up and do the dog chores. I try to nap a little - it's far too early to call the client and update them, and treatments aren't due til 8:00 - but in the end I can do no better than doze, so I get up and go to the clinic. The roads are deserted at 6:40 on a Sunday morning, and it's a beautiful drive in; closer to town there are small breaks in the mist, and the sun is peering through a lacy crenellation of clouds, shedding angel slides broad and deep into the Valley. These are tinged in peach and rose and gold, perhaps due to the early hour, perhaps a gift of the smoke.
My parvo puppy is slightly better this morning - she is wagging her tail and has been drinking enough to stay hydrated, which is a good thing since she has removed her IV catheter all by herself. I clean her cage and offer food, in which she is not yet interested. I let her play on the floor of the isolation ward while I clean up after her, and then I sit and cuddle her for a while - she's lonely all by herself, and as it is Sunday and we're closed, there are no other puppies coming in that I can contaminate with virus. Before I leave today I will launder my clinic coat so that I am not a walking disease vector come Monday morning.
So now I am here in the clinic, deserted but for me, Pepper and the parvo pup, updating my blog. I have other treatments to do later for the pup, and rather than drive back and forth all day, I've elected to camp here for the moment. You've all been more than patient and kind about waiting for me to get back to the blogging - I'll apologize for my protracted absence, but life has been conspiring to keep me a bit overwhelmed of late. But since I am here at work, there are no household chores calling; and since we are closed, I have no appointments to see or call-backs to make. I have only the one in-hospital case, so I had before me an hour, maybe two, of un-scheduled time in which to catch up, make amends, and rekindle the habit of blogging.
I hope you'll all forgive me my lapses. There's more to the story, of course, but I'll save that for later.
You didn't think you'd get off THAT easy, did you?