A Walk

Sneaked (well, hardly) out with Bear yesterday in the early afternoon. She has come to understand wind = a walk. In summer, yes. The rest of the year? We are liberated from this imperative. Any time is a good time to get out there. We’re like postal carriers, neither rain, nor hail, nor sleet, nor snow — we LIKE all that.

In the grand design of things, this is the quiet season, quiet and determined. I can feel it when I’m out there. Few cars wend their way around the loop. This moment is the early transition between summer animals and winter animals. Soon the winter birds will return — cranes and geese — to stay a couple of weeks or a month or two. With them the Subarus, the long lenses, the out-of-state plates.

But the ungulates are coming down from the high country.

Bear was enchanted the moment she was out of the car. So many smells that, I could see from her reaction, weren’t the same old. It’s a way dogs have of knowing if there’s a new threat in their world which is one reason walking a dog is important. It’s part of who they are.

As we wandered along our way, I saw the visible part of the story. Elk tracks on the road. Another sign that it is the quiet time of year. Bear loves (I don’t know really how she feels; I’m judging from her behavior) elk piss and elk scent and all things elk. I understood her excitement. Since I saw a big herd out there last weekend, I wasn’t surprised.

Later, I saw more of the story. Something had chased this elk. I couldn’t tell what, but I could tell that the elk got away.

I can’t say our brief jaunt was a transcendental experience; it was a walk. It was hot and breezy. We enjoyed it, but we both wished I’d brought water. The way I see it — and, of course, the way my dogs see it — it’s important not to miss an opportunity to go out. Shortly after we turned back toward Bella I found a red tail hawk feather tail feather, tired looking, and bedraggled. I picked it up and thought it was a fitting analogy for the world — my world — this time of year, and for me. “I kept flying, but…”

The Chamisa is doing its autumn thing. Here are all the life stages on one extremely intelligent plant. “I’ll put some seeds out now and then some more a little later and then the rest a little later. Something will have to work.”

Chamisa — seeds on one side, fresh blossoms on the other.

I screamed at a garter snake — embarrassing myself in front of myself — but old habits die hard. “If snake then rattler,” doesn’t hold here though the possibility exists. Bear reacted to my scream, and I had to pull her back. It was a smart garter snake, larger than I’ve seen which is probably what startled me.

A gust of wind roared through the small line of cottonwoods, wind from the south. They bent and thrashed, their still green leaves holding on for dear life. My bean plants are weighed down by long bean pods, and I harvest a couple of them every day. A couple of tomatoes are actually ripening. Frost has usually hit us by now, but it seems we’re getting grace this year. I feel right now the same as nature seems to feel about the passing summer, kind of “Well, THAT was interesting, but good God!!!!”

“Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence and nothing too much.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

I hope that describes me. 💚🐾 It certainly describes every dog I’ve ever had the privilege to live with.



P.S. Can anyone tell me what this means — “QUOTE — under the title???? This isn’t a reblog or a quoted work. It’s 100% this morning’s stream of tedium. WordPress is its own little world, and I don’t mean us bloggers. 😀

21 thoughts on “A Walk

  1. I felt your relaxing walk. I too can tell when Ophelia has picked up a scent of something/one new and that of a friend, well at least I imagine I can. It makes for our conversation on our morning walks. “Oh, has Bailey been here!” But, mostly the conversation is not needed. We had one night of frost warnings. Covered the tomatoes and beans and flowers, and it did not materialize. Although the days are warm the nights are cooling down. I actually had to wear a toque on my walk this morning!!

    • Nights are cooling here, too. The heater in my bedroom came on this morning. I was “Huh?” Bear’s favorite walk is in the neighborhood where she can collect messages from her “friends” but there are so many loose dogs now, that it’s not an easy walk to take with her.

      • That can happen. There’s a husky that was getting out of the yard on one of my morning routes, so I had to change routes for a bit. Seems like they got that under control, so we can go her favourite way again.

        • I have new neighbors whose dogs get out of the fence and come to bark at Bear and Teddy. It’s hilarious because they are long-haired dachshunds. One slow movement of Bear’s paw and… then there’s a blue heeler a couple blocks up and who knows what running around the high school. It’s OK. We’ve adjusted. It’s hardly suffering to go to the Refuge. ❤

  2. The Emerson quote is a lovely one. As for your “Quote…no idea. I looked at some other blogger sites sitting in my email, but yours seems to be the only one like that.
    We are still having warm/hot temps here in sunny FL. A/C is running as we speak. I was out in the yard ‘winterizing’ things–which I love to do. One more mow of the little strip of backyard and it will be done for the season.

    • That quote thing only happened in two other of my posts and they were both reblogs. OH well. I have to go mow the bit of my lawn in front of the wildflower experiment. Mañana…

  3. While still warm in Ky, the heat and humidity have backed off enough that I sow time need long sleeve early in the morning when I walk my two pups. After work walks with the pups are not only are now possible, they are enjoyable.

  4. It finally cooled off here to go for a hike without risking your life to hyperthermia. I wandered thru a field of rabbitbrush and sagebrush along a creek that was mostly mud. And thru Jeffrey pine forests which had burned in the Yellowjacket fire back in 2009 but in which some trees still survived.

    It was a good day.

  5. Seeing the world through scent must be an enriched sensation! Mochi had to have a bath. Sparky let her have the run of the backyard and she found something to roll in. I think it must have been putrid opossum guts as I’ve never smelled anything quite that rank in recent history! I even wore vinyl gloves to scrub her down… Now she smells fresh and clean and everyone wants to love on her!

  6. I just finished someone else’s post entitled “Fall Dread”. Yours sounds more like my experience of fall. I hope my comment on the other blog wasn’t taken as insensitive, as fall is not sad for me. I spent the weekend in the woods. (Same place and same weekend as last year, but the jacket I wore every evening a year ago stayed packed this year.) While there are enough geese that live here all year to be annoying sometimes, I get a thrill when I see migrating flocks this time of year.

  7. Thanks for taking me along on your walk.

    Thanks, also, for Emerson’s quote. I especially relate to this portion: “… vast curiosity,… good silence….” That aptly describes me and my dogs on our daily perambulations in nature.

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