Friday, September 05, 2008

High Country: Day Three

Life is scuffling along.
Tripping through the dirt by day, star-gazing at night.
With a few notable moments in between.

Grandpa told of us a tale of his neighboring squirrel. A red squirrel.
Trevelyn and I grew to think of him as Happy Jack Squirrel.
Every morning, first thing, Grandpa's Squirrel -er, Happy Jack Squirrel - runs to the top of this tree about ten feet away from Grandpa and Grandma's cabin door.
He runs way up and out on the highest limb, chatters a bit, then starts hucking spruce cones down on to the ground. He spends about an hour doing this.
When he's all done, he runs lightning-fast back down the tree, and races each of his treasures to a new spot - a hole he's dug into the earth. After he's safely transported all of his cones - pokes and pats them into this narrow tunnel he's built - he takes them out - I'm not certain if it was just the nuts inside the cones, at this point, or the entire cone - and then takes them to their Final Destination - very near his home Under The Juniper.
He does this every morning.
The very night of the First Telling, we read Old Mother West Wind's story of dropping his pinecone smack onto the head of one of his friends.

Thursday had in store for us a long walk along the beach.
Sometimes in the dry sand. Sometimes along the surf. Sometimes along the wet sand, following tracks of different animals and birds.

It started with Mama coming back to the cabin from her morning's walk - "Hey! I found a bunch of different animal tracks! Want to come see?"
Some were easy to identify. The doe with her babies that everyone had seen the going to the watering hole the night before.
Some looked to be cat - bobcat or lynx.
Some were rabbit, we think.
Some were maybe a badger? or a skunk.
I wish we had taken our tracking book with us!!

Later in the day we decided to go to a somewhat close by lake - Starvation. It is in the desert country, and a considerably warmer clime and water temperature that Moon lake!
Turned into a total bust.
Wind, wind, wind.
The children were covering their legs from the blasting sand and leaning their heads into their parents chests to protect their eyes wind.
We weren't there for long!!
On the way back to our home-away-from-home, we were distracted from our disappointment for a while by a four foot long red-bellied Racer.
Which led to great conversation about how Daddy has seen a Racer in the wild swallow a squealing and moving mouse whole!!
Snake talk for just about the rest of the day.

Which took us to the last night in the High Country - a long dinner with Grandma and Grandpa, a roaring fire, hot cocoa, and quiet conversation.
Back at the cabin, it also meant reading the last three chapters of Old Mother West Wind, and drifting into a gently lulled sleep.

1 comment:

  1. We love Thornton Burgess. Your trip sounds like it is just so happy. Wow, a 4 foot racer, that IS huge! Would have loved to see that! -K


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