Welcoming the city-withered...
Notes on the natural.
|Recently I've been travelling several towns over to visit an old, long-lost high school friend. The first time, I took the highway and another, smaller route the entire way there, but I was sure there was a shorter way. So I started exploring, and finally hit upon an old, winding road that shaved easily 15 minutes off of my time. I am always charmed by these antique ways, winding and wending their narrow ways past old farmhouses, bogs, and through great fields and pastures. There is a road nearby, incidentally, that has the curious sign "Ancient Way" at its beginning...and I can't help but wonder if it's an old Indian trail that became a road, to justify such a sign. There is romance on these old roads, history that whispers for those who will listen, the tale of trails taken through forests, rutted dirt wagon tracks that bore early settlers from one to another, early tar tops that bore the coughing, rattling, temperamental first cars in slightly better comfort from town to town. I prefer the "back roads", which are the old roads, to the impersonal highways that hurtle us blindly through towns and history. I'd rather take my time and have a muse than rush frantically along.
|Last Friday I was invited to attend the Lighting of the Trees in downtown Plymouth, Massachusetts. Little ones in tow, we made our way there and bundled out of the car. Main Street was closed to traffic for the duration of the festivities, and I was struck by the peaceful hush of the scene-very Olde New England. Santa came riding in on an antique fire truck, led the crowd in some Christmas carols, and lit the trees ceremoniously. Various churches offered fun treats like gingerbread man decorating for the little ones, and homemade bread nibbles and hot cocoa. A craft fair boasted various potential Christmas gifts, and the evening was pleasantly concluded with a Clydesdale drawn wagon ride around the old streets of Plymouth. Again, the hush beyond the clop-clop of huge shod hoofs struck me, as the pleasant smell of horses wafted back from our giant bearers. All in all, a pleasant experience I would recommend highly to all!
| I had a perfectly horrible experience yesterday. I have two dogs, both Other People's Rejects; Diamond, the Nazi Dog (Dachschund, with the stubborn, fresh attitude that less stellar specimens of that breed can exhibit), and Lucy, a Boxer/Mastiff mix. Diamond is 16 lbs, Lucy is about 80 lbs. Now, Lucy really is a sweet-natured girl, and Diamond is an absolute pest. He pesters my girl, licking, and licking,and licking, and licking, and licking, for days on end, until finally she becomes exasperated and rounds on the little bugger. Well, she gave HIM a licking that resulted in his poor little eyeball popping out of his skull, and an emergency vet visit that cost the princely sum of $750 (money, incidentally, that I had to call my father, in tears, to pay).
Don't get me wrong, I don't really blame either of the foolish creatures. They're just dogs being dogs; if anything, the blame rests firmly with me for thinking I could actually get away with having two dogs of such disparate sizes. I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to have to rehome Lucy (of the two, she exhibits a far superior temperament-she may kick a dog's ass, but she'd never lift a lip to a person, of that I'm sure. Diamond, on the other paw, has given several people, myself included, the Big Teutonic Chomp. I did mention he's a right bastard at times? But he loves his mumma dearly, even though she's Mumma #3...So, despite the fact that I'm really more of a Lucy-dog kind of girl, preferring large, slobbery, genial dogs to nasty tempered little purebreds, the most humane option is to find Lucy someone else to slobber on. Preferably someone with no smaller dogs or cats. Or children, we may as well throw in there. She is, after all, a pound puppy of unknown history.)
The point of this aside, the incident that really set me to musing on how we humans could learn a thing or twenty from dogs, was Diamond's reaction to Lucy later in the day. He holds no grudge (mind you, I keep the two separated now), but is eager to resume his licking relationship, as indicated by the happy tailwagging he exhibited.
Now, ok, maybe he's just supremely stupid, or suffered some head trauma, and that's why he didn't have the perfectly understandable reaction of being deathly afraid of the creature, 4 times his size, who created such a hellish afternoon for him. Or maybe he's exhibiting that abused spouse attitude, and he loves the bitch despite the beating. I prefer to believe that he just doesn't hold a grudge; little doggy minds don't recall the past (this is why we shouldn't punish them unless we catch them In The Act...they don't understand) and as far as he's concerned, it's all good.
Although, about that little doggy minds not remembering...Lucy knows she screwed up big time; all day yesterday she ducked her head and acted very skittish, as though I beat her (I didn't; I didn't even yell at the silly doggy directly after the fact...too busy going into Panic, Panic, Get Dressed, Call Vet, Get Dog to Vet and then Cry mode) and even today she senses, and behaves, as though she's on very thin ice. And it breaks my heart to have to rehome her; I'm not in the habit of adopting animals to give them up later. Well, maybe we'll see what happens. I guess, if it comes down to it, I can just keep the two fools apart. I just wish she'd get the message that I'm not going to kill her, or let bad things happen, just because she was a dog being a dog and it got out of paw (and pocket, incidentally.). Poor miss, I keep reassuring her...*sigh*. And poor Diamond has really been a champion about the whole eye-sewn-and-buttoned shut, medication and Elizabethan collar scene...really, he's been a gem (ar ar), for him, with very little fussing.
But we could all learn from dogs. Turn the other eyeball.
|Tonight I sit at a table outside my back door and soak in the evening. Lightning flashes through the clouds above, while all around crickets and other insects chirp, chirr, rattle...Bats squeak as they fly overhead. Last night, a little frog emerged from the gutter and crept along it, and an owl queried from the forest.
|I went out early this morning to water my 'gahden', as we say around here, and what a beautiful day met my gaze! The moon, a diminutive half orb, glows in a rich light blue sky. Squeaking drew my attention to the trees, where a cardinal took flight, like a living jewel. Myriad small creatures chirp, cheep, hop, and crawl, while the posies in my unkempt garden thrive merrily. Spindly tomatoes and stunted cucumbers still produce mouthfuls of sweet, pure water mixed with days of summer sun. Who can be anything but happy when set in such a wonderful life?
|Two days ago, there was a terrific thunderstorm in Manomet, complete with nearly dime-sized hail. Towards the end of the tempest, a double rainbow appeared in the sky, and the setting sun shone at the curtain of falling rain so that it appeared as though bright silver sparkles were falling from the sky. Fabulous!
|Been a dog's own old age since I've updated the blog, but here goes, the highlights...
I actually saw a blue moon. Seriously. It was merely a strange combination of salmon and blue skies...but one dusk, I gazed into the sky (a favorite pastime of mine) and saw a true blue moon. Eerie, spooky...true.
Hrm, what else... A cardinal flashed across the path of my mighty Dodge, Rosie, while I drove out of my homeplace...scarlet wings lit by the setting sun...
Another day, while driving through Myles Standish State Forest, a hawk flew directly across my path...What omen, this?
I am pleased to report the return of horseshoe crabs to my home waters...
Today, on Manomet Point, the horizon over the sea featured that very strange phenomenon, a thorough blending of sea, and sky, so that no horizon was easily discernible..
| Picture a great dragonfly, with clear wings save two white spots, and a body the very color of a blueberry, complete with the grey-blue haze that rubs off when you pick or wash them, perching delicately on a neon purple stalk of tiny flowers, and you'll see what I did this morning when I went to survey my herb garden.
I found a little garden snake under a timber today; I transferred him to the garden, but I just saw another baby snake in the same spot near the timber-could it be him? Why not.
| Tonight, at dusk, while I was watering my plants, in the company of swarms of mosquitoes (infamously, here a prevalent carrier of Eastern Equine Encephalitis and sundry other nasties), I stilled the hiss of the hose to hearken to the howl of the wild from the forest.
I've heard that coyotes sing when they've made a kill, to announce to other members of the pack that the buffet is open.