My therapy group doesn't have a meeting today, so for my weekly Mental Health Day, I decided to go to Båntjern. I haven't been there for way too long.
I made a pot of tea, poured it into my thermos, and off I went.
I should have worn an extra layer of clothing, both above and below the waist. Jeans are cold, evil things in the winter. My shiny, lime-green jacket (that I bought in Florida, heh) is thankfully nice and warm, but I should have worn something more than a short-sleeved T-shirt under it. What the hell was I thinking?
I got tired after just a few minutes, before I was even a third of the way to the woods. I kept going, of course. I had said I was going to go, and I keep my resolutions better when I have an audience I don't want to disappoint.
I'm sweating, panting, and generally wishing I'd wake up in my nice, warm bed from this nightmare - but a small part of me feels good. I get to the woods, cross the small brook where I get a drink of icy cold water - damn, I needed that. I speak thanks to nature, and continue on my way. As I approach the giant anthill, I think of how it's kind of nice that the woods aren't full of ticks, while lamenting that I can't take photos of butterflies, snails and slugs, and colorful bugs I didn't even know existed. Then for some reason my thoughts turn to creatures that do live in the woods during winter, and just as I think "moose" - There is one about seven meters away from me.
We stare at each other, the moose and I. Will it run away in panic, or will it charge and attack me? Maybe we both thought this. I slowly unzip my jacket and fumble out the camera, not taking my eyes off it. Just as I get the camera ready, it moves away, like a damn magpie. It's not running, though, just walking, so I follow, as non-threateningly as I can. I get a few shots, and then I see a second moose. For several minutes, I stalk them, taking photos. As they exhibit no aggressive behavior, I grow bolder, but they don't let me any closer than our initial encounter. After a while I give up the chase, and continue toward my planned destination. I take some photos at Båntjern, and thank my batteries for not dying on me during the moose hunt, upon which they promptly die. Oh well, I have spares with me.
I sit down at the bench, pour myself a cup of hot green tea. Drink it before I fumble with the batteries. It's the new ones which I've never used before, and the camera doesn't respond at all - one of the second pair must be faulty. Che. So I put in the old pair which was marked charged, but they were apparently not - died instantly. Maybe it's the cold. I did some mixing between the two pairs of new batteries, isolating the dead one and managing to have power, but nothing much else to photograph appears. I have another cup of tea, more for warmth than taste, and head homewards again.
Nothing much happens except cold, cold, cold. The wind chill must give an effect of -20°C. I rub my frost-kissed cheeks and my burning cold thighs. Not much further now. I'm not really tired anymore, just cold. I go up to my room, strip off snow-encrusted pants and boots, boil up some water and fill my hot water bottle. I may spend the rest of the day in bed, watching TV and playing SMAC:SMAC, but today it will be with a clean conscience.
Now if only Chiron would read the memory card, I could upload the photos..