Strange day for the first of December. Warm with wind and rain. The thin skim of ice on the lake melted. The lake looked pissed, like it had been awakened after finally falling asleep. We headed behind Swansea in search of a Christmas tree. The roads were running water in ruts. The creek was muddy. Once it tightens up the back roads are going to be the shits. It was easy to see, on the mountains, where the rain turned to snow. Lisa thought she saw some blue sky and swore she swatted a mosquito. I doubted the blue sky and outright disputed the mosquito. She tried to find it in the snow but couldn’t come up with the proof. I too was seeing things. I saw a ruffed grouse that turned out to be a small stump. I also saw a man with a dog. They were standing still. On closer inspection it turned out to be a mileage marker nailed to a tree and a bush that looked like a lab. Lisa laughed. I reminded her of her December mosquito. On the way back we saw a red tailed hawk, hanging on the warm wind, hunting above a clearing. We stopped and watched as it dipped low and then high. I looked to the ground expecting to see a mouse or rabbit. But my eyes ain’t what they used to be. Lisa said the hawk was like a kite, attached to a string. We waited for the hawk to dive. The rodent must of took cover. It made me wonder if they know they have enemies with wings. Ducks do. If an eagle takes off from a snag beside the wetlands the floating ducks dive. On the other hand, large eagles have circled my dogs who remain oblivious. Nature tries to tell you what to look out for. But it never tells you everything. The red tailed hawk soared higher and joined another two hawks that we missed. All the while it did not flap its wings, using only the wind to rise and fall and guide its direction. We rode back into town with a small balsam fir that we both had our eye on for awhile.