It’s been two years since moving to the Smith River and Hiouchi. When I think about what’s new to me and add up what I’ve learned, well, it’s a good long list.
The redwoods seen and miles of trails walked.
The construction skills learned — from framing to roofing, gutters to concrete, duct work to electric, painting to appliance repair.
All the new recipes.
Beach walking by the light of the moon.
The crazy wildlife I’ve come close to (bears, fox, eagle, deer, otters, elk).
The critters I’ve caught and sometimes eaten — salmon, steelhead, razor clam, redtail perch, crab.
Handling a chain saw for cripes sake.
Managing the disparate personalities of guests.
Sometimes I think I’ve learned a lot. Almost want to kick back and smile.
But then I meet guests like Margaret, a birder from the Bay who was in the area participating in the Audubon Society’s annual Bird Count. Overnighting at the bnb on her way north, Margaret woke up early and just for the fun of it popped down to the river to check out bird life on the Smith. If you’re lucky you might see a Bald Eagle I said. Maybe, maybe but I doubt it…haven’t seen one in a while. It was cold. I figured she’d be back for coffee in a few minutes.
After about 25 minutes by the river she was back and pouring over her Sibley Guide to Birds. This is what made it on to Margaret’s birding log for January 4.
And a pair of American Bald Eagles, the species I thought had taken flight.
I was blown away. Who was this bird whisperer at my table?
Point is I’m still learning, which itself is a lesson I am grateful for.