Beauty lives at the same farm as the mini's, but she's in a different pasture. Every time I post a photo of her people chide me on her grooming. Walp, sorry, but I don't run with currycombs, and don't plan to. I shoots 'em as I sees 'em. Besides, Beauty's shy. I'm very lucky to be able to stroke her nose. Most of the time we just talk. I try to shoot photos over the fence. It's easier said than done. This one came out well, made me laugh.
Lies false on the bottomland
Like so much spilled paint
All around is gray
And the dry russet leaves who
Knew when to let go
We decide to go up a road that's flanked by a little run, as they call the creeks around here. It's very warm, 70's, and Chet wants to wade. I absolutely adore sitting on a sun-warmed rock and watching him walk spraddle-legged through the pools. Ker-plink, ker-plank, ker-plonk.
He goes up and down the streambed, obviously enjoying the different depths, lapping a taste from each pool.
He goes under the bridge, and rainbows spill over the abutment.
That's about how I feel right now--bathed in rainbows. In a tee-shirt on a 70 degree day in November in the Mid-Ohio Valley, infamous for its dreary cloudbound winters.
He enjoys being photographed. Good thing, that. I swear he smiles for me.
On our way back to the car I am musing that I haven't heard from my Dear Old Dad in a little while. I figure he's busy with Mom, who joined him last January. I am thinking about them and it suddenly hits me that Mom, Dad and their first child Donny are together at last. Tears of joy start in my eyes at the thought. I can feel their joy. I don't know why I'm thinking about this now, but when I'm moving for hours, I get a free-associative thought process that I can't attain sitting at a desk. I just empty my skull out of all the trivia and noise and let better things take precedence. I'm thinking about their reunion when a red-shouldered hawk silently launches from a dead stub just off my left shoulder. It flies on a long oblique angle right across the road in front of me, and I have time to get my binoculars on it. I trace it well into the woods, where it flares its beautiful zebra-striped tail and lands again, obscured. I see it settle its wings and can tell it's going to sit there for awhile.
I'm absolutely breathless with the synchrony, wiping my eyes so I can see better. Couldn't have a better message from Dad than that spontaneous thought, followed by a hawk messenger--the first species he ever used to contact me. I lower the binoculars and in my sightline in the creek just ahead are some heavy ripples. They could only come from a mammal, swimming. Will it be muskrat, beaver, otter? An enormous black mink loops out from the cut bank, swimming, its furry tail floating atop the water. I haven't seen a mink in years. And this is such a fine big animal. Its fur is espresso brown shading to black, and so shiny! I watch it through binoculars as it swims upstream, climbs out on a log, shakes like a small, lithe dog, and bounds through the dying vegetation on the streambank. I don't follow, because I don't want to disturb it, or introduce Chet Baker to a new animal, a tussle with whom he is likely to lose.
This is the creek where the mink swam by. It looks pretty tamed down, surrounded by hayfields, but a mink lives there, and I saw it.
I come home full of stories like this and it's so hard to tell them. The words just tumble out and I don't make sense even to myself, much less to Liam and Bill. All these random animal sightings, these unbidden thoughts about loved ones long gone. It all makes sense to me while it's happening, but it doesn't translate well into conversation.
"So how was your day?"
"Great! I saw some clouded sulfurs that made me think of Mom and Dad and Donny all being together again, and then this red-shoulder came shooting across right in front of me, and I'm sure it was Dad, and then there was this mink that he must have wanted to show me!"
I can say, "I saw a tree that looked like a magic hand shooting cloud webs!" but without a photo, what would that mean?
So it's nice to sit down, throw a lasso around all that, and write it for you, in a way someone might understand. Maybe even me.