I first saw this day at 4:30 am, when I took the Mighty Dachshund out to drain her tank. It was cool, so I didn’t dally, being in my skivvies, but I heard a couple barred owls in the hollow, a dog barking in the distance and what I think was the muffled crow of the neighbor’s rooster. I’m glad he lives a couple hundred yards away. The flock owner who lives closer and on the other side seems to have a rooster that doesn’t get in such a hurry to greet the day.
I was about 8:30 when I took the pooch out again. I sat in the swing a few minutes, with her at my feet, and listened to the breeze rustle the leaves in the woods around me. I took my wife out to breakfast soon after, and then we made our weekly pilgrimage to the Wally World on the far side of town. I sat in the truck and enjoyed the sunny morning as she shopped inside. I drove around back and noticed that the “abandoned” farm there had been brush-hogged for the first time in a few years. I was hauling fill dirt from near the fence line back that ridge last week, so I suspect the guy who owns the hill also owns that farm and is getting ready to destroy the place before long. He has a construction business and an equipment rental business and also buys property, removes the hills and then sells or leases the land for business development. There’s an old barn there with an interesting look that I’d better get a photo of before it disappears. I’m learning that I should NEVER leave the house without my camera.
When we got back, we took the dog for a ride in the sunshine. That included a short side trip up a hollow so I could give my copy of “The Humanure Handbook” to the former coworker that some neighbors call “the crazy goat lady.” I won’t read it again, and she’s wanting to go “utility-less” and is looking for ways to do so. I can’t say that I blame her.
We then went to the next decent-sized town upriver and on the opposite shore, so the missus could visit THEIR Wally World to look for some particular thing that she couldn’t find at the other one. While she was inside, the pooch and I strolled around a while, and then I sat on the tailgate, while she sat in the grass at my feet and watched the cars full of people like my wife zip in and out of the lot.
When we got home, I worked on the compost pile I’m beginning down near my pretend garden. The walnuts that I thought I would have to rake out the way have now been eaten, and the hulls are laying alongside the wooden rails that make up my pile surround. I put some leaves from last year, that have been partially mulched, into the enclosure and poured some “night water” over the pile to add a little nitrogen. My wife gave me her fodder shock and I’ll soon add what remains of the irises. I seriously doubt if I can get my wife to save her vegetable scraps for me, though.
Afterwards, I went inside for a while and went online. Not long after, the Mighty Dachshund came and told me that she needed to go outside, so I redressed and took her out into the dimming sunlight. After she answered nature’s call, we sat on the porch a long while and basked in the autumn sensations. With the sun back-lighting the trees around us, they seemed to fairly glow from within, though the collection of mostly oaks were somewhat muted, compared with the maples that were mostly rained down last week.
It sounded like there were some crows in the distance having a discussion, while some blue-jays ate acorns in the trees nearby with surprisingly few vocalizations. Somewhere about 150 feet away, a woodpecker hammered on a dead limb, making it sound like the drums of restless natives. I guess maybe they WERE the drums of restless natives. A couple of chickadees and nuthatches continued to feed and chatter in the woods below me, as the sun set and darkness began to steal around us.
The singing autumn bugs are far fewer than the ones of summer, but they did their best to keep us entertained. Some were obviously crickets, a few still sounded like cicadas, I didn’t recognize the rest, unless a few might have been tree frogs who are trying desperately to hold on to summer. In the hollow, the barred owls began to call again. We used to have hoot owls (great horned owls) here, but the great beeches where they lived have all fallen to old age and the old growth timber has all been cut in this area. So now, we have barred owls. Like the chronic malcontent that I am, I miss hearing the owls of my youth. Toward the neighbor’s place, I hear what sounds like a cross between a screeching chicken and a dying rabbit. Perhaps some furry night hunter has already been successful. Neighbor dogs start barking and the Mighty Dachshund listens intently, slightly agitated.
Soon the deer that has managed to keep the truck between it and my sharp-eyed friend moves far enough toward the center of my lawn that its silhouette gets noticed. I then have a battle on my hands keeping the pooch from giving full throat with her growling and muffled barks. Finally tiring of the effort, I bid the day adieu and take the pooch back inside, where my wife lays sleeping before the TV. And now you know the all-to-long and boring story of my day. © 2014