Friday, September 6, 2013

A Hole In The World

A picture of one of the Twin Buttes taken from in front of the house a few mornings ago.
The mountains and buttes that surround us have been partly obscured by the smoke and haze from wild fires both west and north of us, ever since we arrived in Idaho early in August.
We have been here just over a month now, and LC and I completely relish the silence of the Snake River desert where Atomic City is located.
Deer bed down in our back yard every night, and over the past month we have begun to get to know them on a personal level, as they have also begun to get to know us.
There is a young buck, a very large doe who apparently lost her fawn early this year when the baby got caught in one of the abandoned buildings in town and broke its neck.  Or so we have been told.
There are two other does - one with a fawn, and one with twins and we often see them all in our back yard, or grazing late in the evening in either our front yard or our neighbors' yard.
Jamie inevitably scares them into alarmed motion, and we watch them as they run into the bushes across the street or bound into the desert like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh cartoons.
They are all strong and large and very healthy looking animals.
The neighbors are constantly annoyed with the deer because they eat the flowers and bushes and vegetables in their yards.
But LC and I cannot bring ourselves to care that much about growing things, and enjoy them greatly.
Last night we saw a very large coyote that silently crossed over the street a few hundred yards from the house also late in the evening.
We saw him reflected in the glow of one of the street lights, and another neighbor has lost some of her cats to coyotes over the summer.
So over the past month we have seen a dead rattlesnake in the middle of the road (thankfully killed by a friendly neighbor with a shovel), antelope, deer and a coyote..................

My sweet, again-healthy, and always spoiled mutt has figured out when it is 6:30 in the evening.
Although the weather is now slowly beginning to moderate and the first hints of fall are in the air, only a few short weeks ago temperatures were disgustingly hot and dry and all three of us (man, woman and dog) were compelled to retreat to the coolness of the house throughout the day.
Just like vampires, waiting for the sun to go down.
Somewhere between 6:30 and 7:30 we would invariably welcome daylight again, head outside and walk.
With days moderating and getting shorter Jamie has determined that 6:30 is the appropriate time to take her humans for a walk.
And so close to 6:30 she begins to whine.  I ignore her because the No Spin Zone is on and I have been watching it for years, but she does the cute puppy, shining-eyes-wagging-tail-loving-face trifecta, and who can resist that?
OK you stupid mutt, let's go for a walk.
And those magic words are all that it takes to turn pleading puppy into ecstatic puppy...............

I snapped these pictures yesterday evening as Jamie and I wandered around the outskirts of Atomic City.
Deep in thought I absently snapped these pictures as we walked, and did not notice the message that the clouds in the sky were sending.
There was a storm coming.
By 10pm last night there was the most gorgeous light show in the sky to the north of us, that seemed to stay in one place forever.
No rain.  No thunder.  Just endless explosions of light.
LC, Jamie and I stood in front of the house for over half an hour just watching.
I had never seen such a sight before.
I tried to take pictures of the wonderful combination of light and dark as lightning struck continually behind the clouds.
My camera could not handle the darkness or the distance.
Nobody else in town walks.  Ever.
And so I walked down the middle of the road with my dog, as I (and sometimes we) do every evening now.
Wandering slowly down the center of one road and then another and then another.
Alone with my dog in a tiny, silent, seemingly empty town in the middle of the desert in Idaho................
Part of an old chicken coop..............
Yes.  One more empty building.  Who OWNS all these empty places?
I have no idea..................
I like being able to walk down the middle of the road with my dog.
I like not seeing any people.
I like not passing any vehicles.
I like the quiet...................
How could I be out for so long, take so many pictures, and not notice how alive the sky was?
If I had to guess, I would guess that this is some kind of weather-related tower, but I don't really know for sure.............
Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night.  I miss you like hell..............Edna St Vincent Millay

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