The Trouble With Kitchen Windows

Sunday morning marked the end of a long week for me and the dogs managing without FD. Well, he did come home to spend Wednesday night here so that we could be up early to head a few miles down the road to enjoy Thanksgiving Day with friends.  But then, that evening, he packed clean clothes and headed back out to the cabin.

FD works hard each winter to help put meat in our freezer for the coming year.  I knew though, that along with the work involved in hunting, he and his friend Hoot were enjoying “roughing it” all week long, like a couple of mountain men, living off the fat of the land. When FD arrived home Wednesday night, he had the look of a young boy returning from his first camping trip.  The smile on his face and update on what he and Hoot had been up to, told me he was really enjoying this outdoor sabbatical.  And I knew, if I did not have these three house dogs, I would be out there with him too.  Taking Zoe, Bear and Mr. T to the cabin, however, was not an option. Their long, silky coats would be matted with grass burs (not to mention those that would stick in their paws), and I would worry about predators getting after them.  FD and I had already taken several day trips to fish or simply photograph the cabin area during the warmer months, and I knew that would have to suffice for the time being.

This Winter Wren was the first photo capture, enticing me to cross the fence to the pecan orchard.

This Winter Wren was the first photo capture, enticing me to cross the fence to the pecan orchard.

So, I was enjoying that last morning without a schedule.  Normal weekdays consisted of a routine I sometimes grew tired of.  Last week, with FD officially on vacation, had been leisurely.  I made my own crazy hours, eating whatever time I cared to, and indulging in whatever activity I pleased.  Writing and photography had been at the lead.

Sunday morning, I mulled over what I would do on my last day of being home alone. Hmm… perhaps I would go on a hike west towards the river.  I fixed myself coffee and an open-faced egg sandwich for breakfast.  Then, I thought to myself, before I took off hiking I would just finish baking the leftover toffee chip snickerdoodle cookie dough I had in the refrigerator.  Besides, I had a bit of a sweet tooth that morning!

After eating my breakfast, I had just finished running hot dishwater in the sink when I saw movement outside of the kitchen window.  Fog had settled in, leaving the landscape draped in an eerie mist, but still I spied the gray fox moving along the fence line towards the slope.  Naturally, I grabbed my coat and camera and headed out the back door.  I saw the fox look back as he trotted down the path to the area where I had once seen him dive into a hole.  Unfortunately, he swiftly rounded the curve and vanished before I could get a good shot.

A bull grazed under the canopy of pecan trees shrouded in fog.

A bull grazed under the canopy of pecan trees shrouded in fog.

Dense fog also shrouded the trees and landscape in the nearby pecan orchard, and woodland sounds were crisp and clear in the thick air.  I heard a chorus of cardinals chirping all around me, and a lone Northern Flicker’s piercing call just above me.  A tiny Winter Wren flitted along, perching here and there on a brush pile.  Damp leaves cushioned the sound of my feet on the woodland floor as I moved quietly along an animal trail.  I wondered where Daisy deer and Spirit had gotten off to this morning?  I decided to continue into the pecan orchard to try and manage a few photographs.  Perhaps I would see “my girls” along the way.

Not long after I ducked under a gap in the barbed-wire fencing, I wished I had taken my cell phone along.  It was never a smart thing to go off for a walk alone towards the river, especially during hunting season, and I did not even have my blaze orange headband on.  Obviously, I was not thinking about a safe morning outing when I started this fox adventure!  So, I decided not to go far, but simply stayed on the animal trail that runs along the fence line bordering our property.

This little fellow stared at me for only a moment before carrying on with pecan harvest. I observed him going from cluster to cluster, choosing only to drop ripe pecans.

This little fellow stared at me for only a moment before carrying on with pecan harvest. I observed him going from cluster to cluster, choosing only to drop ripe pecans.

IMG_2684 IMG_2687 IMG_2688 IMG_2690 IMG_2691

As I hiked along the trail, I found only some heifers and a bull grazing in the distance.  A few squirrels could be heard gnawing pecans. Others were scampering in the trees while detaching the nuts from a branch and letting them fall to the ground, then retrieving them later.  This is a busy time of harvest for the woodland “tree rats”.  With nothing else going on, I watched them for awhile and took a few photographs, hoping for a leaping, action shot, and then headed back to our property.

I soon crossed our fence and ventured back to where the fox hole was.  But, alas, there was no sign of my furry friend at the den.  From there, I wandered up top and around to the places I had seen Daisy and Spirit bedded down recently, but they seemed to be off somewhere else that day.  By this time, the sun was beginning to peek through the fog, so I headed back to the house.

Woodland Path In Fog

Foggy Path To Home

The path going home.

The path going home.

As I stepped inside, the smell of burned toast greeted me.  Funny, I thought, I made toast that morning for my egg sandwich, and it was a tad dark, but I did not realize it had left such an odor in the house.  Giving this no further thought, I went back to the few dishes I needed to wash… and that was when I heard the oven kick on!  Oh, no!! My COOKIES!!! Slightly smoking black discs came into view as I opened the oven door.  I quickly grabbed the pot holders and extracted the cookie sheet from the hot oven, then hurried out the back door in a frenzied clip!  When the hot cookie sheet met the foggy, moist atmosphere, steam rose up and a slight hissing noise prevailed as I set the smoldering mass on the tile below the back porch.  So much for indulging in my sweet tooth…

This is not the first time I had been side-tracked as a result of spying some kind of wildlife through the kitchen window.  It is also not the first batch of cookies I have ever burned, or pot of noodles that cooked way beyond “al dente”.  What is it about nature that pulls me from my duties and responsibilities, causing me to completely take leave of my senses?  I suppose, at the very least, I should be thankful for our home safety measures; we do have an awesome smoke detector system and a contract with an alarm/fire security service.  Fortunately, nothing too tragic happened that day.  And getting rid of the physical evidence was no problem… but the acrid odor lingered for a few days and, when FD arrived home, I had to explain to him how I got sidetracked again! Oh well, C’est la vie!

My burned Toffee Chip Snickerdoodles could almost pass for chocolaty goodness!

My burned Toffee Chip Snickerdoodles could almost pass for chocolaty goodness!

© Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…

About Littlesundog

I am a writer, wildlife photographer, animal rehabilitator, and nature lover. I blog here to write about my life on our little piece of land. Photographs on this blog are © Copyright Day by Day the Farm Girl Way... (unless otherwise indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from me.
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37 Responses to The Trouble With Kitchen Windows

  1. Lynda says:

    OH, how you made me smile! I burn toast and tortillas by being sidetracked… often.
    Loved your little sojourn, and did worry about hunters! Glad you kept to the fence line.

    So you wear an orange headband? I had been thinking of using my neon yellow blazer with the reflective tape on it for when we move up to the mountain. Is that not a good idea? Will it not show up, or scare away the wildlife? Thanks for your advice, Lori!

    • Littlesundog says:

      Oh, we have so much in common!! Being sidetracked isn’t the worst thing in the world, unless it burns the house down!

      Hunters go with anything blaze orange – that’s why we put the blaze orange reflective tape on Daisy’s collars and I try to find blaze orange material to fashion her collars with. You can purchase very inexpensive vests or even disposable blaze orange vests during hunting season. My headband works also – it’s an ear band that keeps my ears and forehead warm. I think any bright neon color would do, but most states recognize the blaze orange as the color that must be worn during rifle season.

      I don’t know if deer see the orange or not, but your safety is most important! Unless you have trespassers or poachers on your property, rifle season is generally the only time you’d have to be “seen”. You might check with the local game warden or wildlife conservation office.

      • Lynda says:

        Lori, I have heard of hunters that don’t respect property boundaries, and our property has been vacant for a bit, and will be a bit more. Celi at the Kitchen’s Garden is one who I know had an encounter, and I know of a man from the news (last hunting season) who was shot on his own property. If you have no fence-lines it is hard to distinguish the free range from the owned acreage I guess.

        Anyway, I think I will be wearing the Orange till hunting season ends! Just to be sure… ;)

        • Littlesundog says:

          Good idea Lynda. And, when you are at the Mountain Farmlet, you will be there to keep an eye on things. We have had some trespassers here, and one possible thief. Fortunately, either FD or I was here to send them on their way. Once word gets around that the property is no longer vacant, the trespassing should end. It always pays to wear blaze orange during hunting season, just to be on the safe side!

  2. cecilia says:

    You crazy girl, I do SO understand and am SO grateful to find that intelligent artistic women do the same thing. I am always afraid i am losing my mind when i see something out the window and with glazed eyes, i wander in a trance straight out the door, down the steps, leaving the door wide open and the cooker on. Now that i think about it my Mother used to burn an unusual number of pots, she was a painter, I wonder if she had the same troubles.. Though I have to say – snicker doodles! What on earth are snicker doodles!?.. c

  3. LifeOfBun says:

    Wauw that bull! Haha I laughed when you said “Naturally, I grabbed my coat and camera and headed out the back door.”
    I feel like we’re so alike! Eerie fog is my worst nightmare in creepy games but oh does it look lovely.. it makes me take random walks in the middle of the night! It’s just perfect!

    • Littlesundog says:

      Fog is really beautiful and makes for some of the most excellent photography opportunities. Speaking of that, I thought about doing a post about a gruesome discovery one foggy morning last week… but I’m not sure my audience would appreciate it. It involves a wild hog carcass. I just never know what I’m going to see on a hike in the woods. I’m just glad it was a dead hog and not running around. Those things are huge and scary!

  4. Gorgeous photos, Really liked the these fogguy ones. So easy to get distraccted when one loves nature the way we do. I have burned and had to clean countless pots abd skillets. I have vowed to turn everything off even if I go outdoors for a minute, Hope I can keep my promises.

    • Littlesundog says:

      Ha ha! Yvonne, have you seen how many other commentors have done the same thing? I feel much better knowing I’m in good company! It’s so easy to get distracted around here. I hate to admit it but I did it again just this morning. Boiled a pot dry. I’m hopeless.

  5. Bummer about the cookies! 🍛

  6. narf77 says:

    All part of being a naturaphile ;). I leave freezer doors open, things in ovens, water running, lots of different catastrophes all thanks to my questing mind…glad to see I am not the only one ;). I LOVE that image of the little winter wren. She is going to grace my desktop for a few days now :)

    • Littlesundog says:

      Fran, I had never seen a winter wren before! She was such a robust little beauty too, flitting here and there just as busy as could be! Gosh, I am seeing that a lot of us get side-tracked. This could be the new NORMAL! :D

  7. The Hook says:

    Wonderful, haunting pics, my lovely friend.
    Honestly, I feel transformed and moved after leaving here. Well done.

  8. Kim says:

    What a fun post! Sorry about your cookies, but I’m so glad you went outside to take the lovely fog photos. I’ve been hoping for a good foggy day too, remembering the great fog pictures I took last year. Darn it though, now I’m craving snickerdoodles….thanks for that.

    • Littlesundog says:

      Yes, and these snickerdoodles are the best ever! I prefer them with just toffee (Heath Bar nuggets) but FD likes them with chocolate chips too. I remember your fog photos from last year! Fog is so much fun to work with. Now I have snow… that is a lot more difficult to spend time out in. BRR!

  9. Rachel says:

    Better a missed batch of cookies than a missed wildlife experience – cookies can be made again, but a moment lost is lost forever…. I’m sure the cookies don’t mind being abandoned!

  10. louisva says:

    Hi Sundog,
    What a great post!! After being away for so long it’s great to be back and read your great stories and treasure your wonderful pictures. Don’t worry about those brain burps – yours truly here can walk to another room to get something and forget what it was by the time I get there. It’s a serious case of the “Aging CRS Syndrome.” With that said, stoves can be a dangerous thing to forget – TAKE CARE!!!!!! I envy FD’s experience and have done the same at my mountain cabin but with the delicate health of my 85 y.o. mom & my 90 y.o. father-in-law, I have not been able to do my hermit thing much lately. Good to be back!


    • Littlesundog says:

      Good to have you back Louis! It is a wonderful and rewarding labor of love that you give to your mom and father-in-law. Just send a line or two every so often so that we know you are ok!

  11. LB says:

    Your misty / foggy photos are wonderful. In fact, that first one is particularly nice.
    So glad you second batch of cookies turned out well.
    Have you ever forgotten about hardboilded eggs? That’s a bad, bad smell :-)

    • Littlesundog says:

      Oh my! I hope I never have a “forgetful” moment with eggs! Yes, I love foggy mornings around here, especially down near the river. The dense air provides an eerie yet mysteriously beautiful cast to the landscape. Nature provides so many stunning scenes!

  12. Jennifer says:

    What wonderful photos!

  13. Lovely way to end (or start) the day! Lucky you! I love the wrenon the fist paragraph – my favorite bird!

  14. R. Makglamrock says:

    Nice diet cookies. Been making diet pinto beans while ignoring cooking odors been on android too long. Oh well, a little charcoal now and then is good for the gut, but not the pallette. Love the photos, we are getting similar fog here in NC now. Kitchen windows can tell many tales in life. But makes doing dishes less boring. Great little blog as usual. Thank you.

    • Littlesundog says:

      Thank you so much! Those sure did end up being diet cookies! No one would be tempted to eat one of those charred discs!! I sure do love my big kitchen window, but it’s lured me away from tasks many times. I’m not sorry. Sometimes these gallivanting adventures are meant to be!

  15. Rachel says:

    Lori – I have nominated you for One Lovely Blog and Very Inspiring Blogger Award – your blog is wonderful. If you want to accept, follow the rules on my post :)

  16. singhcircle says:

    The pictures of the fog are great. Miss the times back home when we cycled to school in bitter cold and in fog. There is sometimes severe fog here in Bahrain as well – strange for somewhere there is virtually no winter and very severe summers.

    • Littlesundog says:

      Isn’t Mother Nature just amazing as she paints her landscape? Weather conditions can be such a mystery at times. Isn’t it a wonder when we can just observe and drink in the beauty of it – fog and all!

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