This temporary lifestyle is growing on me.
Living in this cabin by Lesser Slave Lake has me immersed in nature. It reminds me of visiting Grandma and Grandpa Johnson’s as a little girl before we moved to the big city. As I walk along Devonshire Beach Road, here in Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park, I often think back to the smells and sounds around their place on the hill behind Castlegar, B.C.
Out at Grandma’s I’d take off into the woods with my sisters and cousins to explore for hours. None of us worried about where we were going, how to get back or whether we’d encounter a bear. I’d almost forgotten what life was like before we moved to Calgary. We were so free.
Now, I’m conditioned to fear bears. The landlord of this cabin, Roland Eben-Ebenau, assures me I have nothing to worry about. “They just want to move along, munching berries.” I try to trust Roland. Now if I see bear scat on the road I sing really loud, hoping to offend any bear within a mile. That’s how this city girl will save herself.
One evening last week, The Consultant and I were sitting on our deck visiting with Roland when we heard a weird noise coming from the beams overhead. I wasn’t familiar with the sound and I’m sure Roland was trying hard not to alarm me.
Turns out there are bats in our rafters. As the sun set and the waxing moon rose, they turned out for their evening feed. They were so fast we barely glimpsed them as they zoomed inches above our heads. I saw Roland lean back in his chair as he felt one swoosh by his face. So exciting!
We continued to relax, enjoying the pleasant summer evening, just chatting away when Roland, who was looking out toward the lake, stopped mid-sentence. “That’s a lynx!” It sure was. I have never seen a lynx before and now there was one skulking across our front lawn.
Most days, nature sneaks up on me. There’s a bald eagle living in the forest right next to us. If I look out at just the right time, I get to enjoy watching as it soars across the expanse of our front window.
As I was working on this post, a deer ran across the lawn following the same path as the lynx.
The other day, I was reading in the Adirondack chair out front when I heard chattering and a scratching noise. From under the chair next to me, a little chipmunk popped up. He surprised me as much as I surprised him. I couldn’t resist trying to befriend him, “Well, hello little fella!” And off into the bushes he ran.
It’s pretty easy for a gal to fall in love with Slave Lake. This is so different from the city life I’m used to. In Calgary people surround us; here we’re surrounded by life. And the best part? I walk out my door onto the deck and, just like that – I’m back at Grandma’s.
Meet Roland and enjoy this video about the North Shore Homestead, a land rich with history.