Wednesday, November 8, 2023

"To live deep and suck out all the marrow of life..."


"I meant to do my work today...."  No, let me begin again.  I should do my work today, but that's not what I am doing.  All of that business is out the window, and I am out the door.  The leaves are falling so there's not a moment to spare. 

 Millie and I took a longer than normal walk around the backwoods' trails this morning, and, as much as my faithful companion loved it, I think I loved it more, so I am documenting it here.

~ ~~

One of my favorite quotes of Thoreau seems pertinent here.

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived...

I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to route all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms..."   

So, that's why I went..." to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life."  Well, today is a perfect day to do just that.  In just a bit, Millie and I are going to catch up our trusty steed, fuel her up, and head out again.  Millie will probably refuse to ride as she usually does, but I'll not be going far and will drive slowly.  But first, here are a few more phone shots from our morning walk.  

We did not do something so foolish as to climb down this boulder-strewn steep hillside.  I have been here and done that before, and vowed, then, to never do it again.  

In the back of my mind, and I am sure in Millie's too, was our recent encounter with the wild dogs, which I am now calling them.  Where might they be holed up for the day, awaiting the setting of the sun?  

And then.... just off the trail was this.   I actually thought bear at first.  But, ha ha, the joke was on me when I realized it was nothing but an old half rotten log.   

The trees are tall in this part of the woods, so the pretty leaves were taking their time floating to the ground.  I made a little video of leaves falling all around us, but not having YouTube, I can't post it here.  

So, we are out of here.  Take care, everyone.  

Until next time,



Wednesday, November 1, 2023

A Close Encounter and More...


Sad?  Why should I be sad?  It's my birthday.  The happiest day of the year."  

"Your birthday?"  said Pooh in great surprise.

"Of course it is.  Can't you see?  Look at all the presents I have had."  He waved a foot from side to side.  "Look at the birthday cake.  Candles and pink sugar."

Ha Ha!  I always love to read this chapter on my birthday.  It's Chapter Six, In Which Eeyore Has a Birthday and Gets Two Presents.  I had to go upstairs and dig around to find my big A.A. Milne book, The Complete Tales & Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh with decorations by Ernest H. Shepard.  

The big rock where Millie and I sometimes sit to reflect on the day or to observe Nature. 


After having read Sharon Butala, I began to concentrate more on my surroundings. She says a mindless walk, when one is lost in thought, is a wasted walk.  

  "I began to try to stop thinking about anything else but the dirt on the road, the grass beside it, the stones, the fields spreading out on each side, the hawks circling overhead, the song of the meadowlark or red-winged blackbird, the sound of the wind in the grass, a particular rock high on a hillside.  This required concentration, I found, and a constant calling myself back from thoughts of other things to my surroundings at the moment."  ~Sharon Butala's Perfection of the Morning.  

 I will admit to having been guilty of taking many wasted walks.  I have at times said to Millie on our way out the back gate.  "Millie, we need to talk about some things.  You are a girl so you will understand."  So, I would talk, and she, I assumed, would listen. At the end, just as Ms. Butala would have predicted, I couldn't remember a thing about the walk we had just taken. 

But yesterday's walk was not wasted.  It was a walk of a close encounter.  I still shudder about this one.  Millie was slightly ahead of me as we stepped from the wooded lane above the big pond, when she was suddenly surrounded by "Animate Beings," with the clear intention of doing her harm.  

I could not, at first, wrap my head around what these beings were.  I counted at least six heavily coated creatures in black or red.  I kept thinking, "Are they coyotes or are they dogs?" They were definitely very different from the much less bold and usually bedraggled common coyote that I have befriended, defended, photographed and sketched.   In the end, after having Googled, I decided that they were, in all probability, a cross between the two breeds.  I read that when a coyote is red in color, it is a good indicator that it is of mixed parentage, being in this case, coyote and dog.  This cross is also often more aggressive and less afraid of people.  

Thankfully, Millie is very athletic and a fast runner, but so were these wild critters.  She disappeared from my sight surrounded by two blacks and a red and didn't return for several minutes.  When she finally reappeared, she was dripping wet.  She, apparently, escaped from her pursuers by getting into the pond.  She seemed okay otherwise.  I am still shaken.  


Until next time...