If there was a bear, we’d call you.

The continuing saga of a writing residency in the mountains. The writer speculates about wildlife just beyond the walls of her round cabin in the woods.

Sitting on the deck.

I’m still not sleeping quite as well as I’d like, but I think I’ll turn the corner on that in a day or two. I think I’ve finally made good friends with my studio. I’ve figured out where everything is, and today I dragged a chair and footstool out onto the deck to sit and read for a while (and write). I had a picnic lunch out there while the chickadees cheeped and flitted around. It’s heavenly.

The pine marten.

The pine martens seem to come out in the morning and again at night. I’ve seen several (or the same one a number of times). I’ve yet to get a decent picture of one, though. There’s a poet three studios down from here who says that he thinks that they seem to be jolly animals. They do look jolly: they don’t just run. They scamper and jump, climbing and hopping through the grass. I saw one scamper up a tree last night. I’ve been reading about them and it seems that they eat mice and voles and small birds…so it would seem that they are rather more murderous than they are jolly.

Pine marten!

Though I suppose you could be both.

The deck.

The writing is going well. Chapter eight is finished, and I’ll be at chapter nine by tomorrow. I may well work into the evening tonight. Security came by yesterday evening to check the fire extinguisher (beginning of the month is fire extinguisher checking time). I was a little startled to see them, and they apologized for it. I told them I thought they’d been coming to warn me about a bear.

“Oh, no,” they said. “If there was a bear, we’d call you. We wouldn’t come to your door.”



It’s a bit creepy to walk back to the main buildings after dark, and they’ve told me that I’m to call for an escort and carry a flashlight if I do. I mean, if there are jolly murderous pine martens out there, what else could be lurking in the bushes? Bloodthirsty squirrels?


The meals:
Breakfast: Belgian waffles, peaches and grapefruit, scrambled eggs, and coffee.
Lunch: egg sandwich, chips, pickles and a diet Coke (eaten outside while being watched by chickadees)
Dinner: roast leg of lamb in thyme au jus, fussili pasta with cheese and broccoli, salad; chocolate chip croissant pudding, mint tea.


2 thoughts on “If there was a bear, we’d call you.

  1. “It’s a bit creepy to walk back to the main buildings after dark, and they’ve told me that I’m to call for an escort and carry a flashlight if I do”. Betty Jane Hegerat (do you know her? Calgary author who did the UBC MFA program at the same time as me. She is awesome — you should seek her out!) said that when she was writing her fiction/non-fiction book, “The Boy”, she used to run back to her room from her studio, spooked by the dark material and the dark night.

  2. Jealous. I am jealous b/c I have NEVER seen a pine marten. They are mustelids like otters (very jolly) and mink (very nasty) and weasels and badgers and wolverines (also very nasty). I would not try to pet them if I were you ;-)

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