Our winter continues to be mild, but occasional frigid temperatures remind us that it really is January.  We’ve had very little snow so far but lots of wind and it seems to blow away the little snow that actually tries to settle on the ground. Sometimes I wonder if it’s not new snow falling from the sky, but the same flakes blowing around like those in a snow globe.

Since my hours at work have been cut back, I’ve been updating my resume, contacting employers, past and present, to ask if I could use them as references (all said yes and one volunteered before I could ask) and I’ve been actively searching for more work.  I had an interview today that went well; it’s only about a week’s worth of work, but there’s the potential for more on the horizon; so it’s a very good prospect.  I liked the business owner and we had a very nice gabfest about a lot of things besides the job at hand and he seemed to enjoy our meeting as well and he said he’d likely have other jobs for me to do.  I also applied for another part-time position with an on-line bookstore.  I have no idea how I’ll fare against the competition at this job offering, but it’s worth a shot.  It involves books and writing; two of my all-time favorite things and it may be a long term proposition, which suits me fine.

So, things are gradually working out.  The victories may be small, but I’ll take any at this point.

Other than that, and enduring a mid-winter cold-in-my-nose, life goes on pretty much as usual.  My dog Sammy & I get out for our daily hike in the woods, which is now made more interesting- at least for him- because it’s coyote mating season and he walks around in a state of hyper-alert as he sniffs the air and every tree, bush or clump of grass where a lady-coyote has left her alluring scent.   We haven’t seen any coyotes in a while, but I do hear them howl and yip at night and see their tracks.  I’ve also seen tracks of a big buck that we glimpsed on one occasion.  He’s well known in the area due to his spectacular size and looks and his hoof prints are possibly the largest I’ve ever found.   I used to have goats, and my biggest milk-doe was 250 pounds and I think this buck’s hoof prints are every bit as big as her’s.  Speaking of big foot prints, Sammy & I also came across hundreds of meandering turkey prints, each about the size of my hand and they were running up and down a sand hill as though they had stampeded through the area.  We’ve met up with this flock of turkeys often and they don’t seem particularly alarmed by us, but nor do they stick around to make friends, either.  So, we each go on our own way, me dragging a fascinated, tail-wagging Sammy down the trail to finish our hike and them to mill around the woods and fields to search for more grub.  Sammy is intrigued by other animals and wants to make friends with them all.  Every evening we take a walk around the neighborhood and pass a miniature horse farm and if the horses are out in their paddock, he always has to say hello.  He’s almost the same size as the little horses so I wonder if he thinks they’re fellow canines.

Sammy & one of the miniature horses.

All in all, our hikes and walks provide us with exercise, fresh air, and a ever-changing vista to observe and enjoy.  I am grateful to live in a place where nature is so close at hand and I can’t imagine what life would be like without these frequent ventures in the out-of-doors.

More photos: