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Sunday, June 14, 2015

QUIET SUNDAY ON THE MOUNTAIN

flowering goat's beard

It's Sunday and I want to have the day at home. Will skip the race today. Some people have parked across the road and went over or under the No Trespassing sign attached to the chain. Thought about putting a note under the wiper blade, "Not a parking lot." Laughed at self for being so serious. I don't care if they want to go to the waterfall. I reminded self the sign's primary purpose is to avoid liability in court if somebody does something stupid on my land and encounters a bear or a wolf. They went under or over a chain with a no trespassing sign attached, without permission. The people parked here now will not be bear attacked or anything untoward. If they'd come to the door and asked permission, I'd have said yes. I'm glad they didn't come to the door. Sure, it's kinda brassy, but we're in a brassy time. The sign will keep the hordes down, and some will always ignore it. That's ok. I dislike that our society has become one of zero tolerance. I will not take that rule to myself. I actually do not like cutting off access to the waterfalls, but dislike the consequences even more of letting the general television watching audience run me over. One or two a weekend isn't bad. It's when half a dozen or more SUVs and minivans line the road, dogs, kids, shorts and sandals. Bare legs and feet make the best tick magnets.

goat's beard flower

The goats beards are if full bloom today. At least thirty-five years ago I dug several plants from the side of the gravel road and replanted them at home. All have lived and several have multiplied. New ones come up every year. They don't do so well where deer can eat their leaves. Close to the house, they are safe from the deer. One has volunteered in Carpenter's flower garden of perennials I've transplanted from my own beds. The volunteer goat's beard came up in a place the deer roam. It grew to about two feet tall and a deer found it. I doubt it will grow there big enough to bloom. It came up in a cluster of day lilies. Maybe as the day lilies spread, the deer may not find the goat's beard. They're hardy, so I imagine it will return year after year. Wildflowers galore in the donkey meadows. An area about a third the size of the home donkey meadow is covered in flowering white daisies. I remembered when I saw them that Jenny's name before she became Jack's bride was Daisy. This period right now when the mountain laurel are in flower is my favorite time of year. It feels so great to see leaves everywhere, no more bare trees and cold. I like not putting on a coat to go outside. 

caterpillar in a favorite place

Tree frogs and katydids sing day and night. I hear bird calls frequently, thanks to the feeders that have gathered a community of birds. The female cardinal no longer flies when I appear. Several of the birds watch me go by. The squirrels run up a tree out of reach and watch. They've learned I take the seeds out in the morning. Several will perch in the rhododendron and watch, chirping and making anxious squeaks. The towhees say "sweet." I have whistled back and forth with a towhee a few times walking from house to car. Had a cawing session with a crow one morning last week. I did not know any crows were around when I threw the seed. I call twice to the crows. They know it's not a crow. They know who it is. It's the call to fresh sunflower seeds. A crow called back to me, two caws. I cawed back two. The crow sang two. We echoed back and forth several times. I was attempting fair likeness, though not concerned. To the crows, it's my voice, even if I might one time have sounded like a crow. They know each other's voices. They surely know a human's poor mimicry. This crow echoing my call to the crows told me this crow and the others know me from watching the human throw out the seeds in the morning and call twice. That's good enough. I like my wildlife neighbors to know I'm a friendly. Word goes around among them.

goat's beard flower

The waterfall trespassers have gone. Instead of turning around and going back the way they came, they took the old road down the mountain, likely to look for other ways into the waterfall area. Several places it's easy to park and access the falls by way of a beautiful walk in the woods. I think of places I'd like to revisit in and around the creek running from top to bottom of the mountain, but I've been there, done that. I don't feel safe anywhere in the woods anymore. I've seen too many photographs and signs, heard talk from hunters, who won't enter the woods without "stopping power." That's a .45. I don't want to walk in the woods with a gun. Anything more than a walking stick, I don't want. Don't even want one of them, but they're handy with age. Years ago walking in the woods not far from the house I saw a pit bull I'd never seen before, and it saw me. It came running and barking. Knowing dogs, I just stood still. It stopped about ten feet away. I talked to it. It came to me, I petted it and it walked with me. It lived with a new neighbor who'd just moved in. Dog was out exploring its new territory. The dog knew me after this encounter and we were friends thereafter. The dog took to rambling with another dog and they made a house dog of it.    

selfie with butterfly on shoulder


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