Monday, April 09, 2007

Musings on the CabinDwelling Life Part VI: Breakup

Or, The Snow. What Evil Lies Beneath?
These are the times that try CabinDwelling souls.

I speak, of course, of spring breakup, which coincides with the season of thousands of muddy paw prints indoors -- making it even more clear, if the dog hair dust bunnies hadn't, that dog ownership is frequently a messy, gross affair.1

The weekend was wonderful, melty in an entirely good way, and something of an eye opener. I moved into this particular cabin in November, back when it was dark, cold, and snow covered everything. This means, of course, that I moved onto the property sight unseen.

Having lived out here in The Valley for a while, in several different cabins, I've grown accustomed to finding all sorts of weird items2 come springtime. With the melt upon us, I've been wondering just what the hell is out there.

Quite a bit it turns out, and some of it is pretty strange even by local standards.

Who the hell does this sort of thing?

Apparently, someone who lived at the cabin prior to me felt compelled to nail caribou heads to a tree. In the front yard. It's the first thing anyone who is driving up is gonna see. Which, and I've been wracking my brain on this one, conveys exactly what?

But what to do with them? I can't just leave them there. Oh, I'm not against the ubiquitous Alaska decorating-with-antler motif, but this is just disrespectful. Taking them to the dump would just add to that, even if I were sure that it is legal.3 Plus, I really don't want to have five thawing half-rotten caribou heads in my Soob. I mean, people, authentic Alaska points be damned, there are limits.

Of course, I neglected to notice this garish display for months despite it being directly overhead from where I take the dogs for their morning poop. Further investigations in the yard turned up:
  1. a set of antlers wired to a tree
  2. a bike tail light hanging on a branch
  3. a grocery bag full of ~ 15 pairs of unused rubber gloves
  4. a used roll of wire fencing
  5. a spade shovel in reasonably good condition
Given that the cabin is on 7.2 acres and we're only about 1/3 melted, I'm figuring it's going to be an interesting spring. Hopefully, with less 'ick.'

1And, despite my annual springtime vows to do better next winter, it nevers fails that breakup reveals an astounding amount of poop I failed to clean up back when it was frozen and easily disposed of; let us speak of it no further.
2Found elsewhere during previous spring breakups: an electric toiler (at a residence with a perfectly useable outhouse), baseboard heating units (under a waterless cabin), hardcore pesticides, cutting boards, various tools, extension cords, blue tarps, bikes, garden boxes, 55 gallon drums containing god knows what.
3The sign at the waste stations cautions Squarebanksans that "you may consider your animals trash, but you can't dispose of them here." Or something to that effect.


Ishmael said...

Dang, C'Dweller, you beat me to the dog poop comment! Have you found any that's turned white over the winter? I always thought that was weird.

Dog Poop, or as I hear Steve Martin saying in my head "a-dogga-poo-pay," doesn't seem to be a problem down here on The Rock, where all organic matter decomposes in a matter of days.

Ishmael said...

Oh yeah.

What the hell is up with the caribou heads? I know it's darker up there in the winter, but you just noticed them after five months there??? Cut back on the NyQuil, deary, for everyone's sake.

By the way, I'm adding "carry at least one dead big game head in your Subaru" to my residency test.

CabinDweller said...

Well, it was cold and dark a lot for a while there. They kind of blended in with the trees. And I generally was looking down, watching where I was walking because it is the spot I take the dogs for the morning poop.

Really, I have no idea how it took me so long to notice them. Now, I'm all too aware of them up there looking down at me and it's hard to avoid looking at them.

And it wasn't the Nyquil. Blame it on the bourbon.

CabinDweller said...

Yeah, there was white stuff, and it wasn't snow.

Maybe Flic can bring her copraphagic new dog over and help me out.


Mary said...

OK, that's offically more bizarre than anything I've ever come across when I moved. You win.

CabinDweller said...

Wow, uh, thanks. I imagined someone would trump me with something with a higher ick factor. I am curious and yet, fearful that I'll be the one to do it. There is still a lot of snow cover out there.

Deirdre Helfferich said...

Bleached-out crap? not very weird, just a slow draining of the vital nutrients from a highly concentrated source. Not noticing the heads in the trees? well, that's a tad weirder, and lets you know you haven't been getting outside enough, but hey, spring is the time all the bodies start showing up. Any Alaskan who's lived here for several decades (or grew up here) knows that. Even the little kids at Play 'n' Learn know that.

Deirdre Helfferich said...

Just wanted to let you know that your heads-in-trees tale helped inspire my editorial this month, "Mud Season", due out this afternoon, or maybe tomorrow, at select locations in Ester, and in the rest of the world next week.

You really should be writing for the Republic, you know. At least, that's the editor's opinion.