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Posts Tagged ‘autumn’

A walking path is never even. That was the thought in my head this afternoon when I headed out through the garage. The winds were coming at me from the northwest, cold and strong. First thing I wanted to do was collect one large bag of trash from the pole barn, there seems to be a never ending supply of junk in that barn.
As I opened up the barn I kept talking out loud to myself, I was hoping that the skunk who lives around the barn would scurry away when it heard me coming.

I consider it a good outing when nothing furry tries to chase me down:-)

After I had one bag stuffed and tied off I looked off towards the back path, or what use to be the back path. My tractor had stopped working this summer, as well as the gas mower. So parts of my lawn /field grass were ankle to waist high, making my walk an arduous excursion. I still had the narrow path that Uriah had carved. I decided to take a walk, before deep snow erased that path.

I stopped my non-stop, keep-away-animal chatter as I hit the lowest part of the path. I followed a line though the grass then turned to the left and walked on the incline, sidestepping a section riddle with burrows.

I made a mental note to bring with a small saw or heavy clippers next time, and cut the invading Bog Willows away from the old path.

I continued on towards the east invisible fence line. I turned towards the north and a wave of sadness hit. I kept walking.

I was in an area where, years before, I had been charged by a forty pound raccoon. At that time I had three dogs with me, they all saved my life.

I stopped and listened. Winds blasted over the oldest Bog Willows and rustled the tops of the four to five foot dried grass , then blew past me.

“ I think I need to walk a different path …” I said that out loud.

Instantaneously, a buck stood up, not more than forty feet from where I was standing.

I can’t speak for the buck,..for me, that moment moved in slow motion.

I stopped breathing and froze! I was hoping that he wouldn’t notice me standing in front of him wearing a bright orange jacket, I closed my eyes ..I really wished that would make me disappear!

A male deer’s mating, or rutting season is around November. Bucks are attitude with pointy antlers. And I found myself standing too close to one. If he charged at me he could use those antlers or stomp on me, yes they do that! Ouch!

When the buck rose up from where he had been resting, he slowly turned in my direction. I could see the wind slightly ruffling his fur as it blew towards me, lucky for me I was down wind. He snorted as he stood up and again as he faced me. He stomped the ground, and raised his head up and smelled the air.

At this point I was trying to become a turtle and shrink into my coat.

I didn’t breath! I didn’t move, that is supposed to work right? Or it that only for bears?

After a minute he turned and took a couple of steps away, snorting indignantly. Then with three effortless jumps, he disapeared in the trees. I got an impression he had springs for legs.

It took me a couple of minutes to relax and head back to the house.

Note to self… Tomorrows walk will be taken in the open, empty farm field next door.

oct pic. leaves have fallen off

Tall grass hidding deer

Male deer are called bucks, bulls, stags or harts. Female deer are called does, cows or hinds. Young deer are called fawns or calfs.~ http://www.veganpeace.com/animal_facts/Deer.htm

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This past week I watched as a farmer harvest his soybean crop in the neighboring field. I grabbed my camera and took a video as he roared past me, kicking up the usual intense dust storm, which always comes out of a soybean harvest.

 

The grey heavy dust had me coughing and teary eyed, I made a fruitless attempt to blink away the haze and itch behind my eyelids.

As I watched, twigs and rocks spray back onto the shaved off field.  The harvester moved slowly, roaring past me. 

Holding the camera in my right hand I waved with my left and the farmer waved back. I could barely see him between the dust and the darkness inside the cab.

 

Vibrations from the massive John Deere Harvester rippled under my feet. The tractor’s size and close proximity, passing a few feet/meters in front of me- reminded me of a charging elephant in a Tarzan movie.   

 

Add in a sunset and lengthening shadows.  Then toss in a thick, grey swirling dust cloud that quickly encompassed the world. 

 I could feel the hair rise on my neck. This scene had an eerie feel…  

I kept thinking something bad was about to happen.

 

Guess I’ve been watching too many horror movies…? Too close to Halloween..?

 

Uriah kept rolling his eyes and pacing. Finally, he gave up trying to get me to move away from the fence and walked back to the house.  Smart dog!

 

From across the field, on the end of ‘Bob’s’ property, I saw a flicker of light.

 

I headed up on the deck to get a better view.  I saw flames shooting up illuminating an old Oak tree that sat at the backend of his property. Not quite on ‘Bob’s’  land. It belongs to the farmer. 

 

 I haven’t lit a fire for a couple of months.

This summer’s air may have water soaked, but the ground and foliage has been very, very dry.  Dangerously dry!

 

I watched the flames licking at the lower tree branches and then blazed higher. Orange, red and yellow flames reached up into the branches, so bright I could make out each limb.  I was positive that tree was toast! 

 

About fifty feet, to the north, is a cornfield.  A very dry, not yet harvested- cornfield.

 

The farmer’s tractor’s lights glowed white; I noticed a second tractor in that field. I have never seen a soybean field stripped that fast. I wondered, if they were worried that fire?

 

When I couldn’t stand on the deck and breathe, I headed inside.

 

By midnight the air had cleared.

 

The fire was out, it hadn’t spread. (Add sigh of relief here)

Still today I am wondering, “What was that guy thinking- lighting a fire when a field was being harvested?”

 

Any thoughts on this?

 

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Odd, big mushroom

For the second day in a row I stepped outside to frost on the grass, and plants that looked like I stuck them in the freezer, all wilted and mushy.

I had slipped on my sandals and headed out back. 

My toes felt the cold first. With the sun shining brightly the rest of me really wasn’t cold.

Uriah ran on ahead and pointed out the raccoon scat right in the middle of the back path. I was relived when he looked back and me and walked past it, I was not in the mood to give him a bath.

I walked past the odd sounds coming out of the tall grass to my left, Uriah couldn’t help himself. He stopped cocked his head to the right and whined.

“No way! Uriah, keep walking!” I shouted out the command, then turned and continued walking.

I was hoping he would follow. I wasn’t in the mood to run into any wild animals today.

Uriah sneezed at the grass, then trotted after me. He jogged past like a middle aged over weight male, pretending to be in shape. He stopped after about twenty feet, panting and waited for me to catch up.

I tried to avoid the large stones that had been kicked out of the muskrat’s hole.

I walked around a scraggly mulberry tree.

I walked looking at the ground as I passed under the cedar’s low branches.  I could see the odd, large,- I think mushroom- I haven’t look this thing up, yet. It is the size and shape of a large watermelon with the look of an old dried out football. Brownish with a yellowish powder, when I touched it the surface broke easily, similar to a cooked meringue. I found a second one, on the other side of the cedar tree.  I never saw anything like it. Have you?

As I hit the back section of the path, I made the turn to head home. At that point, Uriah disappeared into the trees and started to bark. His bark changed to a scared howling sound. I stopped, worried.  

“Uriah, Come!” I stayed on the path and waited.

I heard him bark.

Still I stayed on the path.

This is the area where Uriah and his brothers had killed a forty pound raccoon when it tried to attack me. His brothers are no longer alive and I know Uriah isn’t strong enough to kill anything bigger than a small rat. 

So I stood my ground and yelled again. “Uriah, Come!” 

He came out of the trees doing a fast jog. I knelt to pet him and he raced right past me. I glanced at the trees. I didn’t see anything coming out, but why wait for it.:-)

By the time my dog slowed up, he had put fifty feet behind him. We both walked side by side quickly, which is unusual for Uriah.

I check him over when we walked into the yard.

Nothing bit him. He seemed fine.

Deer like to hide in those trees. Maybe that’s what he ran into, a momma deer will kick at him and Uriah doesn’t like to be kicked.

Uriah didn’t stop at the there. He took off to the house. Glancing back at me, he crawled under the deck.

I don’t know if you saw my video of the three deer that came to visit. Here it is.

Here’s a link on BigFoot

http://bigfootsightings.org/2009/08/31/bigfoot-in-illinois/

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I am tired, sore and jiggle eyed. Last month I spent my spare time working on the examiner articles, then, my completive streak snuck in and I tried to write some articles for their sponsor, HomeDepot.   I wrote some really bad articles… I have to write about cats, but that will be done slowly.

 I know what I enjoy, and this Blog is what I love to write.

 I still have my change jar in the back of my closet, slowly filling with dollars, for that elusive laptop which will help me write anywhere in the house, or on a jaunt outside. I see that happening by spring.  

I plan on finishing a novel, and submitting some of my writing.-I should get competitive about this.-

I am well, happy and back.

 This evening I was sitting on the couch watching, Julia & Julia, and lost track of time. I had left Uriah outside, in his kennel, and forgot to bring him in when it got dark.  

 I had to turn on the outside lights and then the bathroom light downstairs, the one closest to the dog kennel and the office where this computer is located.  

 I turned on the driveway overhead light as I opened the garage door.  

 It was a clear dark night. The air was cold enough that I saw my breath. Lights were shining out in the cornfields behind the house, near the back path. Farmers were out harvesting crops, trying to outrun the rains.

 Uriah started whining when he heard the door open. He hasn’t been very brave the past few months. When he hears a noise in the dark he would rather stand next to me and growl, than run off barking.

 This past Friday, Michael and I made a pretty good attempt at waterproofing the deck for winter. We never got around to cleaning up, that will be done maybe tomorrow- or not.  Everything is lying around and will need to be stored away for the winter anyway, so I’m in no hurry to straighten up the outside when I can barely stand straight today.

 I stumbled over a board and the hose I had left out.  

 When I got to Uriah, his kennel was lit up due to the glow from the bathroom light. I was very glad I remembered to turn that light on.

 Uriah stuck his nose in his large empty water bowl.  I had moved it to work on the deck and now it was empty.  I pulled it back under the deck where it belonged and felt around in the dark, in the cold damp grass for the end of the hose.

 Uriah stood patiently waiting. As I finished filling up the big water bowl, I spotted in the shadows his small water bowl, still filled to the brim. While Uriah was slurping up water, I looked inside the kennel.  His water bowl in the kennel was still filled.  I laughed and shook my head. Silly dog!

 As I waited for Uriah to relax and roll in the grass; I stared up into the dark night sky, a string of clouds drifted near the eastern horizon. The rest of the sky was clear. Pinpoints of white lights glittered overhead. 

 Have you ever stared upward, with out blinking, so you could see stars beyond the ones that caught your attention? I could do that tonight.   I could see clusters of stars out of the corner of my eye, if I looked straight at them they would blend into the blackness.

 Supposedly, tonight has a waning crescent moon tonight, 29% full. I didn’t see the moon.

 Star gazing has been getting harder to do with the naked eye. With all the lights and pollution our children and grandchildren are loosing out on this simple pleasure.

 Rumbling of farm equipment and the occasional rustling in the garden were the only sounds.  Uriah nosed around in the Blue Spruce next to the garage I let him, I didn’t want to go backing into the brightly lit house, not just yet.

I didn’t get a picture tonight, but here is a video I took last week of a sunrise.

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work in progess of a cartoon charcter of me.

rodents made this into a condo

The past few days have been just gorgeous. The air is cooler. The sky has been a range of clear blue, to heavy thick grey clouds and rain.  The trees haven’t changed color, even though the past couple of weeks the leaves have started to fall and dried leaves crunch beneath my shoes.

The yellow jackets are cranky with the cooler air, and the over abundance of fermented fruit.  Drunken bees are interesting indeed.

The grass and the wildflowers are now orange, red and browns mixed with dirty yellows.   Even the air smells like fall, dried grass and hay, mud, mold and Halloween.

 I feel a little sad; this summer was so hot, I couldn’t enjoy it. Each day was a steam bath of heat, making it nearly impossible to breathe, and walk at the same time. Even when I made an attempt, the mosquitoes forced me back indoors.

Now, I have to make my fall list of chores, I still haven’t finished my spring’s time list. Summer, forget it. That list was eaten by Uriah and I didn’t even care.

This past Friday the garbage was still sitting out by the curb, not having been collected on Thursday, the normal garbage pick up day; by Friday it was ripped open and spread around the mouth of the driveway by a skunk. I wanted to make sure it didn’t spread out into the road, so I rushed out and picked up the paper towels, and chicken bones scattered along the ground.

 As I shoved the very smelly garbage into a new plastic bag, I wondered, why the skunk hadn’t finished off all the bones. At that exact moment, when that question rattled around in my head, I saw a black nose, with black fur and a white stripe slip out of the drainage tile that stretched under the road  connecting the east side to the west.  

We shared a look and I stood up fast, “Oh no you don’t! I said out loud as I backed carefully away.  “You are not going to spray me!”

I thought I was safe, the skunk was in the drainage ditch and I was near the road. He would have to spray upward to get me.  I decided to ignore it.    I watched out for the cars whizzing by me, mere inches from my head.

Hurrying with the cleanup, I failed to notice one important thing.

 That little skunk had sprayed the other garbage bags.

I tossed the bag I was holding onto the pile, and then decided to straighten them all.

Right now, as I type this, I wonder why I had the compulsion to straighten the garbage bags….

The smell hit me hard, rotten chicken and the odd, burning green smell of skunk!

That skunk didn’t need to spray me, I did it myself. Then with all the brain power I had left, I covered my nose with my sleeve. The sleeve, which had skunk juice on it!

I headed back home, fast!  Uriah happily following behind, his nose pointed up as he kept sniffing the air around me. I gagged and blinked multiple times.  Having to stop when I thought my stomach would end up in the driveway if I moved to fast.

Next week, Michael is checking on the garbage!

****

Sorry, I haven’t been here a lot. I missed reading your Blogs. I will get back in the game. Sitting is a real pain.

Uriah is doing great. New dog food he lost a little weight. He needed to.

The examiner isn’t paying out like I hoped. They made some changes and the numbers aren’t posting correctly. Still I keep trying. I wrote my first article June 27th, I am on number 44 today, and I only made $17.97, that’s with 2,476 hits. Hmmm!?

I am trying my hand at cartooning myself. I jumped around on the internet checkout sites to make your self into a cartoon. Then I pieced together a character, redrew it, and colored it in paint. It is a work in progress. I posted it with this article on the examiner. ( I tried to add a link and wordpress just wouldn’t let me, here is the full link)

http://www.examiner.com/plant-life-in-chicago/searching-for-the-noxious-plant-called-marijuana-hampshire-illinois

 My camera started acting up. 90 % of the pictures came out blurred and the camera started making odd noises. Luckily I had a store warranty I took it back to Best Buy and they gave me a different camera. Maybe I should get an under water camera. It’s a thought.

 **Don’t read this part if your squeamish about women’s issues.* I’ve been doing the doctor run for Michael. Then I had my normal routine -yearly exams.  My doctor thought it would be a great idea to do a biopsy of my uterus. A fast decision he made. He said, instead of me coming back in a few months; let’s do this now…. I was in no position to argue. Michael said, I looked like I saw a ghost when I came out of the doctor’s office. perimenopause is so much fun! Results sometime next week.

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Why do we think birds have it so good
Because they don’t have credit cards
and electric bills
That they can fly
when and where they want to
without worry..
Maybe they think what we have is great
Living inside structures
that don’t fall down in heavy winds
and we aren’t someone’s food, or play toy…
Seems we have more in common than not
I just wish I had wings…

The rain poured down this morning, an attempt by Mother Nature to clean off the winters sludge from the roads, buildings and ground. Most of the snow surrounding the house melted off this morning. Before this winter will be official over it will take a few heavy rains, then some sunny days to bake everything clean.

I walked over to the Bog Willows and peered inside their tangled branches, I saw where the snow was hiding. Every bit of ground in the shadows was snow covered. White and icy, refusing to let go of winters bite.

Uriah was very disappointed when I refused to walk in the cold water, which covered the low end of the path. He carefully inched along the un-melted ice and drank from the water.

The skies above us were heavy with moisture. The clouds were a deep soft grey, they moved quickly overhead. I looked up at the motionless tree tops. All the wind was high up in the clouds, the winds pushed them into rolling mountains that swiftly changed shape every second.

With our walking path blocked I turned my attention to the vegetable garden. This past October I had covered it with a tarp and wooden fencing, and an occasional pizza box. I had stuffed a large plastic garbage bag full of autumn leaves and set it in the garden. My intention was to dig those leaves into the newly turned soil and pile them around tomato plants. Right now that bag sat, bloated, in the middle of the garden waiting for me, and spring.

 I walked around the covered area. Stopped and called for Uriah.  

Uriah came over and sat next to me and stared at the garbage bag like I had commanded him to, and then looked up at me waiting for a biscuit.

I pointed to one of the tarps. “You think we can uncover one part and set up a cold frame?”

Uriah actually looked as though he were thinking. He stood up and stepped into a section that was not covered and slowly tried to dig in the dirt. Then he looked up at me with mud stuck to his paws.

“Okay! I get it too mushy to play in, maybe next week!”

Uriah looked at me, sighed, then walked over to a hole and stuck his nose in it, and then he stood back and sneezed. 

“Right! That last rat has to go!” I backed away. I am not crazy about rodents!  “You get right on that!” I raised my eyebrows and kept inching backwards.

Uriah isn’t fond of rats! This rat has taken his biscuits, food and chew toys over the past few months. Whenever I mention that fact, I am told rats bite, hard!  Uriah gave me a look and went into the kennel and slipped into his dog igloo and left me standing there, alone.

 I looked up into the sky, I could hear the high pitch scream of the Red Tail Hawk.  

“Hey, Uriah maybe the hawk will get that last rat for us!”

I turned my attention to the birds. I could hear Blue Jays screaming. The Black birds were congregating in the tree tops and a Robin chattered angrily at me from a Mulberry tree.   Cardinals flitted in and out the branches of the leafless Crab Apple trees.  Somewhere on top of the barn, Doves cooed in a rolling Scottish accent:-)

I pulled my camera out, fully intent on capturing a picture of that Robin. I haven’t seen one since December. I started snapping pictures of the clouds and the lack of snow.

Uriah decided he was bored and followed me to find that Robin. Except every time I pointed the camera he decided to bark at the birds. I gave him a biscuit, or three.  He was trying to protect me from the, big mean Robins. How dare they chatter at me…

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Beneath the Willow

I lay inaccessible and supine beneath my Willow

Her naked branches pull me upward

in a flurry of color, waves of light

She drops her clothing to cover her roots

Her muse once led my soul

Now, She whips at my stone

Dancing in the timbre of sunshine

Fire amidst rustling autumn foliage

I drift deep into the cold ground

Shimmering fall leaves bury me

fighting the march of winter

Prelude to the intake of biting air

Willow will sleep quietly

raining bitterness and delight

Blending…

of dried leaves, verdure and decay

Tang of freshly turned mud and dusty soil

She taunts me, coating my name with leaves

Burning embers, flashes of destruction

Move closer, She will burn

Does She Understand this…

Having no choice I am inside the flame of colors

Staring upward spinning blue, against white

She crashes to earth in a storm of orange…

Arcing, vivid orange, photosphere, blindingly

A searing prism

A golden illumination

An autumnal equinox

Her aroma full of passionate ecstasy

Willow, whispers of the changing winds

Listen you will hear her laughter at my entrapment

Roots dig deep, tearing into my sides as She reigns from above

I am… This volatile collision

A menagerie swept together of bitter green and biting hot

All but a memory of light and life

Shifting beneath a path of sweet promise

Willow worries not for me

She will feed off my flesh

Ripping into my marrow

Until I disintegrate into the cold ground, forever supine…

 I posted this for Jingles Thrusday Poetry- I wrote it for the writers site I belong to, it was for their picture contest- October 2008.  I added the picture that was used for that contest.

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