Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Deepening Of Autumn

A couple of weeks ago I made a quick out-and-back trip to Blackfoot to engage in banal and boring chore-driven errands.
When I am motivated to complete tasks in town quickly, I can get things done in record time.
I had brought Kory with me because she was as restless as her mama, and my sweet dog patiently watched me and waited for me as I climbed in and out of the Tahoe multiple times in quick succession as I worked to put the chores behind me.
As I climbed back into the Tahoe for the last time I turned back to look at Kory.
Still watching me.  Still patient.  Still beautiful and securely loved.
Looking out of the front window of the vehicle I (for the first time that morning) realized that it was a very beautiful day.
The sun was shining.  
The sky was endlessly and ridiculously blue.
And even though it was very warm. the suffocating dry heat of mid summer was gone.
When I had kissed LC goodbye I had told him that Kory and I would be back as soon as possible.  That I had little desire to either dilly or dally in Blackfoot.
But alternating looks at the sky and then back at my dog persuaded me on the spur of the moment to head for the back of town.
My dog had been so very patient with me, and I needed to reward her.
We would spend a short while walking by the small man-made lake where locals come to cool off during the few hot weather months that we have in SE Idaho..........................
I have talked about this park before in previous blogs.
It is a lovely place located on the back side of town, and it provides a wonderful recreation area for locals.
Over the past year or so Kory and I have walked the perimeter of one large portion of this lake.
We have wandered through shelters and around frisbee gold courses, climbed on childrens play equipment and watched the seagulls that have somehow managed to wander many hundreds of miles inland from the ocean.
We have watched teenage boys fearlessly perform tricks on skateboards without benefit of pads or helmets, and bypassed endless business people and young families eating their picnic lunches.
And we have finally watched children and adults swimming and paddling, and noisily being pulled by very small power boats.
At this time of year the kids were now back in school and the number of people spending time at the park was gradually diminishing.
Days are still warm but nights are now cold, and the water is freezing.
On this day I let Kory take the lead...............
Immediately heading down to the water I watched as my pup predictably waded into the water and drank.
Bending down I placed my hand into the water and confirmed what I already knew.
The water was freezing cold.
Two small children and what looked to be their grandmother were wading in the water further down the beach, and I smiled sadly as I watched the little guys.
Toddlers didn't care about the cold water.  
They never did.  These little guys didn't care.  
My little guys hadn't cared either.............

As we approached one of the platforms that bobbed slowly in the water I watched the birds.
How the hell do seagulls travel so far from the ocean?
I wondered absently, giving the question little consideration because it deserved little consideration, and then I watched the birds some more.
As we got closer most of them took to flight.
Kory was again wading in the cold water, and I looked beyond the lake and at a truck that was speeding by on the interstate.
This park had a lot going for it.  It was a great attribute to a town.  An attribute that allowed residents of the town to enjoy peace and quiet in green space and close to water, without having to leave the city limits.
But it was too civilized for me.  Too noisy so close to the highway.  Too filled with people throughout the summer.  Too.................much.
I liked it better at this time of year.  When the swimmers and frisbee golf players and endless people gave to way to increasing quiet, and while the man made lake was still filled with water.
Soon it will be drained for the winter.  
Leaving an ugly sandy lake bottom in its wake.................. 
The deer are well and truly back in town now.
There are remnants of them all over our yard, and I know that they eagerly come into our yard right now because we still have a big pink wading pool filled with water sitting under a tree.
It has been so warm during the day that all our bushes are trying to grow leaves again.  All of our newly planted irises are trying to grow long leaves again.
I say try because the deer are not only drinking water out of Korys pool, but also feasting on new and tender growth.
It is a little disappointing to see new growth eaten down every morning, but at this point in the year it is not worth worrying about.
I will think about it again in the spring....................
Two pictures taken on BLM land right outside of town in August...................
One of two owls that live in town.
These two owls moved into town a couple of months ago and every night they spend a good deal of time calling to each other while perched in our trees.
We love having them here.
All summer it has seemed like there has been a whole lot of nature surrounding us.
The return of the deer.  
Bunnies everywhere (which has pleased Kory enormously).
We've loved having them here, but growing anything has been a real challenge.  The deer and rabbits eat everything, and what they didn't get this summer the vols got as they burrowed under the ground, happily destroying plant roots as they went.
Antelope on BLM land.
Hawks and owls.
The return of coyotes.  Large packs of coyotes that roam on BLM land both close to the buttes and on the outskirts of town in the mornings. and that roam through town late in the evening.
Even a couple of young elk late one evening early in the summer..................
Taken just a few days ago after a walk on BLM land not far from town..................
All taken a few days ago, while walking late in the evening with my dog.
I don't care if I ever run into another person while walking with Kory, but I am pleased to know that the deer will be here this winter.
THOSE I missed last winter.................
The hush comes with the deepening of Autumn; but it comes gradually. Our ears are attuned to it, day by quieter day. But even now, if one awakens in the deep darkness of the small hours, one can hear it, a foretaste of Winter silence. It’s a little painful now, and a little lonely because it is so strange..................Hal Borland

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