I’m going to miss these types of mornings after we leave this place. Brett, Olivia, and I stood at our sliding door this morning and watched otters slip in and out of the holes in the ice on the pond in our backyard. The ice is not yet thick enough to lure the community out with their skates and hockey sticks, so right now the rink belongs exclusively to the otters, some ducks, and what locals are telling me is a Great Blue Herron.
Brett and I both grew up in ranch house subdivisions just outside of big cities in the south. My daily outdoor fascinations amounted to the small hills about three miles away (i called them mountains), a creek that ran through land set aside for a row of large electric powerline towers, and an old tree line cutting through our neighborhood blocks. All were great, legitimate interactions with nature, but nothing like this.
Here, the only other house we can see is our next door neighbors'. Now that all the leaves have fallen, we can see parts of houses across the lake, but as everyone's homes are the same color as bark we're all still tucked away behind the camouflage. And when the ice does get thick enough, when families do come out with their ice skates, it's just magic. We'll be the family out there with stupid grins on our faces. I guess what I’m getting at is that we're probably more excited than Olivia to observe a family of otters over breakfast.