Because we live in deep country, we do not face the suburban hassle about finding people to work for us… Those few who help us are our neighbors and friends; were it necessary, and were we able, we would as lief work for them. One of the happiest rewards of living where we do is the knowledge that we are part of a community. We know that if we were in trouble and able to holler loud enough, we could stand in the middle of the road and yell and in no time half the town would show up to help out. – from A Countryman’s Journal, Views of Life and Nature from a Maine Coastal Farm, by Roy Barrette
The movie images of Rambo slicing off leeches from his chest are so well known that after our daily swim, when I discovered what I thought was a teensy hemlock needle on my ankle, it was far too good a photo-op to pass up. I was hoping the delicate blade of the Nighthawk would be up to the task. Turns out, the leech told me it wasn’t a big fan of the 3-in-1 oil I keep on the blade.Yup, (sigh!) tough ol’ birds, Rambo ‘n me.
A new bizarre-o ring – a goat skull with long curling horns, très shaman-esque and the accessory for exploring weird stone sites and making moonlit fires. Definitely nothing for daily wear what with those long snagging horns. And it’s doesn’t have much meaning to me… unless you count it’s the prefect accoutrement for holding a stick with an organic, no-nitrites chicken sausage made over a fire.
The above is a real photo from National Geographic. It’s an immature hyena hiding from lions inside a dead elephant. If you’d rather see a hyena having a grand old time actually splashing, yes splashing and rolling inside a giraffe, (and who wouldn’t!) I posted the video a long ago but it’s worth a remindary chuckle if you’re upset about the few bugs on your porch and how your kitchen trash is starting to smell.
…and shower him with kisses! Pal, utterly, amazingly, fantabulously cute snoozing in his fleece, was deaf from birth but wicked smaht. Whenever he would lie down with packmates, he learned to have some part of his body touching their’s so if they moved, he’d be alerted to wake up and see what was going on, see if treats or fun were to be had. Look at those back toes and his sleeping smile, dogs just don’t get any cuter.
It was one of those damp mid-winter days so many people dislike – perfect time to wander up past the ravine and into the hills for an afternoon sit-down by a fire. Elderly Ty stayed home with a treat filled Kong. I knew the hike would be too long and damp for him. So Mak took it upon himself to drag me through the fog shrouded forest .At the cliff edge of the ravine an old fire spot (not one of ours) kept Mak running with smells though it was so old, cold and wet, I suspect it was critters rather than old food that he was smelling.Once past the ravine, the land dips before rising again to more remote fastnesses of the hills. Giant’s pebbles are strewn on the land. And back there it felt the way much more of the world’s land should. Dripping hemlocks, mossy boulders and wet snowy leaves underfoot provide the backdrop……for the stream that bubbled and danced. Land unpopulated, untouched, unspoiled.
At length I found a fallen long near a brook. An ideal spot for a fire. A moment of sun graced us just as I whipped out the Mtech 151 to shave dry slivers for tinder.
Once the fire was burning, I got Mak snuggled in.
January of 2011 I was still smoking occasionally, so I lit a cigar with a fire brand…and settled in to quiet time.Fire in foreground, soft cascade in back.Mak under his blankies in the lower right……accumulated a dusting of ash.
Dusk comes early in January.
But the late dusk hike out was just as fun.Back home we’d found twelve year old Doodles had finished his peanut butter Kong and ensconced himself near the wood stove. Who had the better day? That’s up for debate!