he is an apparition that exists only in the magic hour. impossible to capture in photos fully. leaving the shutter open i can record his movement-look closely at the photo below and you will see his muzzle smelling the tree trunk. and the darker part suggests a kneeling figure. the shaman wannabe in me likes that happy accident of photography. i think he is a young bear because of his astonished open gaze and shiny black coat of new looking fur. his muzzle is without scar. he brings myth and mystery to my evenings making me alive and alert because i respect his wildness.
i am low by the creek and under heavy canopy it is night for me early on. i know he comes from across the creek and so i look and wait, more hopeful for him than any lover i can recall or imagine. every dark place pulls my eye. the forest is so alive with movement it is hard not to be fooled over and over again. the creek flows and splashes up little diversions. the leaves are starting to fall and hummingbirds reach for the last of the nectar while red can still, if faintly, be registered by those tiny eyes. black hornets with an impressive nest at the apex of the roof inspect me and move on. the bear, like many things, doesn't come at the time of my choosing and i give up the watch and prepare dinner..........oh yes! wild alaskan salmon on my george forman grill. i did not plan it but in retrospect my unconscious mind was clearly in the driver's seat.
the chicks are inside with me and love kitchen time as they are sure to receive a taste of everything i am having. suddenly the chicks adopt a familiar weird, low and frozen stance while emitting a worry trill. the bear is here. how can he be so quiet? he is more cautious than i, every step tentative. the bear doesnt see me but the twitching snout tells me he smells me or the salmon. he is probably smelling a billion other scents i cannot detect. he is disappointed the bird feeder has been taken in. he checks every place where bird seed has ever been. i am surprised he doesn't come up on the deck. He has before and though i usually let it go so i can watch him, when he touches the dish i am compelled to step out and protect my very very fragile satellite reception; tv becoming as mythological as the bear lately.
he moves on and upward to the west and the night unfolds merrily; heavy in riches and good fortune.
click for large
*damn Flickr. i cant upload to it anymore so now all my photos are small. grrrrrrrr*
*damn Flickr. i cant upload to it anymore so now all my photos are small. grrrrrrrr*
Looks like some *good country people* unloaded a trio of mixed rottweiler pups at my place. i arrived around 3:30 on thursday for a kind of weekend i hadn't planned on.
the adventure began with a minor skirmish involving my neighbor's "nephew" who decided to unload an entire clip of something bigger than a .38 in my general direction, which sent trout bolting out of the woods with her tail tucked.
i went over there. I said "hey, was trout up here?" and big mama says "why?" and i said "cause somebody just unloaded a clip this way and i just want to let ya'll know i'm out here" and then nephew jumps up and says "thats a crock!" and then added "this is the SOUTH lady, i doan know where youse from, but git used to gunfire" and i said "dude, i am used to it, just not whizzing past my head" but i didn't press it cause i know better than to invite *redneck retribution*.
i then called my insurance man, making sure "fire by arson" was at the top of the list. He reminded me how the poe-leece had advised me not to get cute and booby trap the cabin after the two robberies that left me short of 2 TV's, a telescope, a bevy of cheap cheap cheap appliances and a cowboy hat. that hurt. not to mention the $600. worth of propane they let blow out the door on the coldest days of the year.
and i thought the Final Four weekend in ATL was gonna be sketchy.
not 15 minutes after catching up with the neighbors, Trout is somewhere out of sight barking her head off. Oh no, please God don't let her be barking at "nephew". Knowing that there is NO PRAYER in hell that will make Trout "come", I ran as fast as i could up the driveway. (come to think of it, i do most of my running here in the woods. Thanks to folks like "Nephew", the #1 best selling T-shirt up here reads: "Hike faster! I hear banjo music")
When i finally could see Trout, my blood ran cold cause it looked like she was barking at a bear cub. I was thinking "that's it, she's going to be killed" but as i got closer i realized i was looking at a baby rottweiler.
She was barking back at Trout and as i approached i saw another head pop up from the ditch. Looking into the ditch i found yet another pup, the shy one deep inside a drainage pipe they were using as a den. I went back to the cabin, got a bag of food, and returned. They ate wildly taking in dirt and leaves with the food they were so hungry. But they are in pretty good shape...theyre fat and their coats look good, so i think these dogs have been left here recently.
I am having a fine time playing with the pups, and so is Trout, who is pretty tender with them to my surprise. Now i am off to take them down by the creek to play some more. Tomorrow i will take them to town and see if i can adopt them out. But the little "bear" looks like a keeper to me. After all, she IS a female "K9".
I think it is a sign.
p.s. Dear God, I've been pretty good all Lent. I have a tiny favor to ask. Can you send me this man and his nephew-killin' compound bow? Thanks in advance. chickory
What's better than an over-priced hour of pilates? how about a morning of picking up hundreds of sticks and hauling them out to the fire pit? how about when the wind is a bit more forceful than you thought and your girl scout teepee structure goes up in flames and gets BIG and HOT very quicky.
Then comes the aerobic part of the workout...the part where you frantically run around putting the little fires out with the "stomppy wardance of terror". bonus move: running to fill milk jugs with water to stop the march of grass fires hopping outside of the fire ring.
not to mention the adrenalin melt down.
talk about working the "core"!
surely abject mortal fear is a few hundred mac and cheese calories gone...and, burning off my eyebrows, i may have lost a gram or two of weight there as well.
looks like i get to lay around on the porch this afternoon.
Ah, the cool waterfall. Uploaded especially for the Red Mantissa, the little doe of Vancouver. Its on the far side of my property line. I really wanted to win the lotto so i could buy the other side. That way, no one could ever build on it. Right now i cannot see or hear any other human being. and i want to keep it that way. selfish, i know.
there's a little fish trap at the end of these falls, which doubles as a swimming hole where even full grown adults can go underwater and dogs get to paddle. one must be careful not to anger the little crayfish or disturb the mudpuppies. Oh. you don't know mudpuppies? Well, they are rather large, thick and heavy dirt-gray water lizards with red lungs on the outside of their bodies. very primitive looking. once i was in the "hole" and something "significant" slimed up against my arm. i turned just in time to see two mudpuppies engaged in combat, biting each other as they flowed past. my shrieks echoed throughout the cohuttas, and someone might have noticed and investigated, 'cept there seems to be a lot of screaming out here.
for tomorrow's sunday brunch there will be fresh eggs thanks to Red and Dovey. here they are in their chicken church. you cant hardly see Red, she's laying. I gave them an old blueberry box filled with shredded newspaper to nest in. the chicks are small, so to see the size of their eggs is impressive. and, it explains the racket they make before and during the laying.
by day, the chicks eat grubs, earthworms, termites and a scratch mix of corn, millet and sunflower. i like to take them out to a new area and turn over rotting logs to expose other kinds of insects and small larvae. they make the coolest sounds when they are excited about what they find. in the evening i give the hens peanut butter and salmon. sometimes vermicelli. peaches. soft cheese. rice. whatever.
now that the trees are filling the satellite is getting sketchy. so i was productive and made a non objective painting in photoshop. reproduced as a real large canvas, it would be a showstopper.
tomorrow: 3rd sunday of Lent. intention: hiking the trail to the swinging bridge over the Toccoa river.