Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Dripping Rain

A picture of the Twin Buttes.   Taken while wandering on BLM land in back of town a few nights ago with LC and Kory...........

I walked outside into the yard the other day with Kory and was immediately startled by sudden movement along the back fence.
A second later I realized that I was looking at one of the young twin deer that have (along with his/her sibling and mother) become full time residents of Atomic City over this past summer.
The first time I saw this little guy was a couple of months ago.
Again I was outside in the back yard with Kory and was slowly wandering through the yard deep in thought.
Without really being aware of my surroundings I suddenly found myself standing at the back fence.
Looking through the bushes I realized that something was looking back at me.  
It was a beautiful, healthy looking doe, and she regarded me with that frozen, wide-eyed stare that deer always get when they are silently evaluating some unexpected interloper.
Out of nowhere a tiny, unsteady, spotted little deer wobbly walked over to his mother, and when he reached her tiny baby sat down exhausted at mommas' feet.
A moment later one more tiny, spotted, unsteady little baby appeared from underneath a camper, toddled over and also sat down beside his or her mother.
Unbelievably cute at the time, and even though these little guys are much bigger now, and much steadier on their feet, they are still as cute as all get out (as they say in Tennessee).
I watched in bemusement as the first of the twins bounced at full speed across the yard just like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh stores, ducked down and scooted through a hole in the fence behind the bushes.
Hmmmmm...........he knew exactly where that hole was.  He had done that before............

Deer sightings in our yard are now daily occurrences - multiple times each day I walk outside and am momentarily startled at the sight of them.
They graze on the grass a lot, and the trees less.  But they have effectively decimated the bushes along the fence line that were so lush just a couple of months ago but which are now almost completely bare except for clumps of leaves on the tops of each bush where they cannot easily reach.
So far there are three young bucks that live in town, the momma with twins, a momma with one young, and a handful of does.
I had heard about one large buck being seen this year.  LC had seen him but I had not until a few nights ago when I took Kory out into the yard one last time before heading for bed.
I have not seen him during the day, but now see him - in shadow - in the yard - late every night..............
The other twin had followed his or her sibling part way across the yard, four footed bouncing on the heels of the first, but instead of diving through the hole this little guy stopped to give me one more wide eyed and serious look.
About a minute after the first baby disappeared through a hole in the fence the second little deer did the same thing.
Momma stood in the middle of the yard for a few more moments and I wondered what she was going to do.  Would she stay in the yard and wait for her young to return?  Would she jump the fence?  Would she run to the far end of the yard and run around the fence before speeding through the grassy alley to meet up with her babies?.............
A second after I had mentally explored all the possible options for action she could take, this beautiful mother turned her back to me, and effortlessly jumped the back fence...............
A young buck that we saw during a walk a few days ago not far from the house.
He was happily grazing behind a downed sign in front of the old Oasis Bar and Cafe.
The Oasis has been closed and boarded up for many years and as Kory and I approached he calmly raised his head to check on these two uninvited strangers.
Once he realized that we were no threat to him he quickly went back to grazing on the dry, brown grass................
As Kory and I slowly and quietly walked by him, we watched as he turned away, walked along the side of the building, and then wandered over to the alley between two homes before quietly continuing with his meal.............
I snapped this sunset picture a couple of mornings ago.
As with so many nights over so many recent months I could not sleep, and I spent a very fitful night alternating between watching TV and sleeping for very short periods before inevitably and disgustingly waking up again.
I don't know what to do about this problem.  I am 54 years old and have never had sleep issues before.
Sleeplessness didn't start just over two years ago as I might have expected that it would  
It started a few months ago, and I have now spent far too many nights figuratively floundering in the darkness and silence of the night.
Around 6 in the morning a few mornings ago I realized the daylight was beginning to break.
Getting up from the couch I walked over to the living room window, pulled back the curtain and realized that I was looking at the sun rising on one more day.
Dressed in pajamas I slipped on a pair of shoes, walked outside, walked across the road and snapped this picture....................
Kory in front of the Twin Buttes on one of those walks when the astonishing sunlight of early evening makes the world appear in pastel shades of green and yellow and blue.............
Last year the Atomic Speedway was active on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the summer.
This year the speedway is active only one day a weekend through only five weekends of the summer.
Interest is declining in car racing.  At least it is in SE Idaho.  Too expensive for racers and not enough profit for race organizers.
And so the number of races is less this year than last and the races that are held are shorter.
I would say that I was disappointed to hear about fewer and shorter races but then I would be lying.
LC and I have had a couple of chances to attend races and have actually had full intentions of attending.  But then we hear the practice runs and inevitably we decide that we just can't handle the noise.
A water truck hosing down the track during the day, in preparation for the night races..............
A few blog posts ago I commiserated about the tedious and seemingly endless hot and dry summers in the high desert of SE Idaho.
Last August (our first August in Atomic City) was unbearably hot.  
But we lived in the desert and summer was what it was.
There would be no rain.  Not until Fall.
Only.........I was wrong about that.
A couple of days ago LC came in from the garage and happily announced that it was raining outside.
I gave that proud announcement little thought, because my experience with rain in the summer is that it literally lasts all of 20 seconds and falls in sporadic and halting drops.
A few hours later I walked into the garage and was surprised to hear the rain.  It was pouring outside.
And aside from a few brief interludes, it has been pouring outside for the past three days.
I didn't know that it COULD rain for three days straight in the Snake River Plain.
On one of those brief interludes this morning I walked around town with Kory.
Looking at the sky before walking out the door it appeared that the sky was valiantly trying to clear.  
There were patches of blue sky surrounded by larger patches of grey and black sky, but this is Atomic City.  
Assuming that the rain was done I reluctantly donned a rain jacket anyway.  It was only a damp 60 degrees at 11 am.
Surely it would get warmer.  This is Atomic City.
By the time Kory and I found our way home it was beginning to rain again.  And it was still only 60 degrees.
Picture of a cloud covered Twin Butte taken across the road from the house..............
Throughout the summers I can almost hear the vegetation around me.
Crackling, drying, gasping, struggling for water in this tiny desert community.
Residents water their lawns and their vegetables but the trees on the outskirts of lawns, and the trees on empty properties silently beg for water.
On this day, during a brief reprieve from the rain, the world was green and lush. and the trees were silently dancing their happy, hydrated dance..............
Not something I see every day - my dog playing in a mud puddle in her desert home town...........
When we first picked Kory up at the airport I was surprised to see how thin she was.
She only weighed 52 pounds and I could see her ribs.
When we asked the woman in Florida who had pulled Kory from the shelter for us why she was so thin, Kelly told us that Kory had stopped eating and had been depressed at the shelter.
After spending two months at the shelter, she was finally adopted by a family.   As soon as she arrived at her new home she jumped their six foot fence.  The family immediately took her back to the shelter.
This sweet, beautiful dog stopped eating after that.  She knew.  They always know.
Kory was weighed yesterday and she is now 60 pounds.
Sixty pounds of lean muscle and bone, and long athletic body and sweet spirit.
In this picture my pup is standing in a water puddle and completely focused on a kitten that was running across the lawn beside the town bar.
No baby girl - you can't have it..............
All was silent as before
All silent save the dripping rain.................Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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