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Wildlife is moving in with us. Maybe it's a slow reclamation process of the 45 square metres of habitat that our cabin has displaced.
Within a split second, our connection to the outside world was severed.
A spiderweb, complete with shrivelled insect corpses, wraps itself around my face. "You go ahead," I sputter, beating at the fly-studded strands of spider silk hanging off my eyelashes. Sam isn't too eager.
A war over resource ownership has broken out right in front of our window. Flashes of metallic red, then a loud buzzing sound as one of the combatants zips by with his incensed adversary hot on his tail feathers.
Trailing exhaust, cars rumble down the streets, speeding up, changing lanes and slowing down. On the sidewalks, people weave around each other like so many streams of busy ants. Colourful posters, signs, shop window displays - so much choice.
It's the Finnish lemming migration that did it. Rivers of small pudgy furbearers rippling across the tundra, their sights firmly set on destinations unknown, and my friend Tarja right in the thick of things, camera in hand.
'Sam," I yell, trying to make myself heard over the deep, businesslike rumble of the chainsaw. But he doesn't hear, ears encased under the hearing protection and his attention absorbed by the log he's about to turn into lumber with the Alaskan mill.
Heavy mist hangs on the trees like so many spiderwebs, shading everything in grey. The sky and land are blurred today, the clouds dragging themselves through the treetops. Reach into the mist and touch the sky.
It's minus four, the first sunlight slips over the mountains, and the hummingbird is trying to decide whether he likes slushies or not.
'There's nothing to eat," Sam scowls. "Nothing." He stares at our pantry shelves which aren't bare, but not exactly crammed either.
It's like being a fly on the wall, backstage at a concert hall. Watching a rock star as he practises his moves. I grin at how he struts, throwing each leg forward just so, planting each step with the utmost effect in mind.
Spring is just three sweaters and one pair of long johns away. That's all the clean clothes I've got left, and I refuse to do another cramped, torturous laundry session inside the cabin when breakup is just over a month away.
I don't relish company when I'm visiting the outhouse. Especially since it tends to be of the multi-footed and furry kind, or else the pesky winged variety. It's still too cold for bugs, but there it is: a small dark shape darting past the outhouse door.
I wave my arms desperately, trying to attract Sam's attention. "Hey," I call out to him sotto voce. "Sam, there's a wolf!" But he neither hears nor sees me and keeps on shaking out a tattered plastic tarp.
'I think one is sitting by the nest - or is that just a patch of shade?" I point at the tall pile of sticks that our resident pair of ravens have hardly shown any interest in this spring.
The snow may still be knee-high, but we've taken to lounging in the afternoon sun. Sam and I sprawl comfortably on our snowmobiles behind the cabin, our version of lawn chairs. A cup of tea or coffee is tucked in behind the windshields.
It was the usual frozen scene of blinding snow and mountains, devoid of movement, when suddenly a dark shape solidified between the trees. Something dog-sized - no, larger.
It stuck out of the snow like the hand of an avalanche victim: one stubby brown antler of a yearling moose, a brief message in code. I went closer to investigate. There were great tufts of fur around it, long snowed in, and that was all I could find.
The race is on and the loser will not take it likely. I look at Sam out of the corner of my eyes, trying to gauge him without letting him clue in. It's important to appear natural and unconcerned.
A curtain of snow rushes by our cabin, twirling like a dervish. It seems to hesitate ever so briefly, then slams into the log walls. Something creaks - the protesting wood or our windows shuddering in their frames.