The cabin was hit hard by hurricane Sandy. The field turned into a river, the trees were stripped of limbs and leaves, the windows shook in the wind.
The creek grew higher and higher over the course of the first day. Water traveled down the ridge from the sky and from far away counties. Run off churned through the grass and trees.
The next week was very soggy. The shape of the land shifted. Where we had walked through high grass and brush, we now walked through what looked like tide pools on a beach. I even rescued a few fish from shrinking puddles and tossed them back into the creek.
After the storm Scout didn’t seem to mind the new landscape.
Out on our walk we came across a poor little ground hog who had been flooded out of his den. He was unconscious and barely breathing. We snuggled him up by the wood stove so he wouldn’t die of hypothermia. Apparently, when ground hogs are hibernating, their heart rate drops to only a few beats per minute. Getting cold and wet can be impossible to recover from.
I drank some tea and observed the little creature. Ground hogs are rabies vector species, so I was careful not to touch him and to keep Scout and the cats away. After about four hours by the fire he started breathing more regularly and stretched a few times. He looked like a crumpled-up wet sweater. After another hour or so, he started looking like an animal again. I put him into the carrier we use to take the cats to the vet, then headed out to pick up something to eat for dinner.
When I returned, he was wide awake.
An hour later I was meeting a wildlife rescue volunteer to do a ground hog drop. She gave the ground hog some medication to make sure he wouldn’t get an infection in his fluid-filled lungs. Later she emailed me that the ground hog had fully recovered. He had feasted on bananas, grass, and pecans. He was released just a few days later.
Unfortunately, the cabin didn’t recover as quickly. We’ve had to run a dehumidifier constantly to try and dry the place out, but it seems nothing will do the trick.
The smell of mold has become so intense we can’t stay there any longer.
It has only been eight months, not our planned year, but it seems like the cabin is telling us it’s ready to move on.