Little Bear and I have been living in sweaters since Sunday, because the fireplace damper doesn't seem to be drawing in enough oxygen and we can't keep a fire going. The furnace works fine—we aren't going to freeze! But with heating fuel running around $4 per gallon, we're sure hoping to offset our oil use with as much wood as possible. We should have tried building a fire earlier in the fall; now it's a busy season for everyone, and it'll take a few days to have our fireplace looked at (and hopefully figured out).
It's a far cry from the previous weekend, when temperatures climbed unexpectedly into the mid-70s. We went out grouse hunting that Sunday, and true to form didn't see any grouse... I think this was the fourth time Matt's gone? We did hear several grouse, but were unable to scare them up from the brush. Although we did see a moose! It was away across a clearing from us, and it looked small, probably a yearling. Little Bear's noisy determination to be let out of the ergo startled it off. We also found the remains of an old cabin, and hiked out to an old logging slash pile where I remember doing target practice with the .22 when I was younger. It was a beautiful day to be out in the woods; I'm glad we took advantage of what was almost certainly our last warm weekend for a very long time.
It's too bad it doesn't still look like that outside today! Well, it is and it isn't. I love the fall colors, but I could always print off some photos, stick them on the living room window blinds, and pretend it's still pretty out... and as soon as we get a fire going, I'll be perfectly happy to curl up in front of it with Little Bear, a book, and a mug of hot cider or chai.