Tag Archives: Gnomes

Outside Temperatures Are In The Low Twenties. My Fever Is Above 100! Random Thoughts When Sick~

I woke up this morning with a cold. My head was pounding! My sinuses were stuffed!  I would rather have sat, and not move at all.

But, Uriah needed to go for a walk.

I opened the door and told him to have fun, and sat back on the couch.

Uriah barked at the side door until I gave up and went outside.

Today was very clear and bright and extremely cold.  Whites and blues, of snow and sky, stayed separate from the beiges and dark browns of the tree bark.  Lines of color cut in and out of the blinding white snow. 

This morning, the weatherman had made a joke about today’s temperatures, being as close to a heat wave as we can get in January.   The past few days we had wind chills between -20 to -50 degrees.  Hitting the twenty’s would have been a heat wave. If it had really gotten that high, it didn’t.  And all this white is wonderful for my headache… Grumble, grumble… !

Uriah ran circles around me as soon as I stepped outside. Then he stared at my pockets. I reached in and pulled out a biscuit. At the same time, I accidentally dropped my stick of gum on the ground. I bent down to grab it.

 Did I tell you, Uriah loves spearmint…

He grabbed it first and raced away from me. I tired out quickly. Then stood back and watched him run circles around a Blue Spruce, with my gum still intact, sticking out of his mouth.

I swatted the air at him.  He plopped down in the snow and peeled off the paper. Then he chewed the gum a few times before he swallowed it. He looked longingly at the gum wrapper and promptly ate it…

Yesterday I didn’t walk out back. Within one day the line of footprints that I had made by dragging my feet through the deep snow, were gone. Completely  filled in by the wind.

With a heavy sigh, a cough, and a sneeze I slowly followed two sets of fresh prints. One was a coyote a lot bigger than Uriah; he had stepped in and out of the snow easily.  When Uriah walks, he wades through the snow dragging his chest along. Not the easy gait of a coyote.

The second set of prints, were from an even bigger deer.  I stepped in the snow next to his footprints and only sunk in half the distance.

 I followed the coyote’s trail, which moved in the same direction I was going. Except for when he ran around and underneath the old apple trees.  I cheated there and cut my own path and linked up with his prints. I saw where he had dug irregular holes, here and there in the snow. Until he laid down just before the back path, and left a complete body print in the snow.

 I saw a line of rabbit tracks that stretched out from the Bog Willows. Then move with even hops, towards the path.  A little farther away, the snow was scattered, where the coyote and the rabbit both headed off into the trees. I looked up and saw Uriah’s hind end disappearing into the same section of trees.

 I headed up the path going east. Just as I reached the section that broke off, with one side heading southeast, the other northeast. I stopped! My mind said, enough walking for today, tea time!

 I whistled for Uriah. He surprised me by running out of the trees. He circled around me and headed back into the trees.  He even jumped over branches with the agility of a puppy.

I told myself to enjoy the day like Uriah!

I looked upward into the taller trees.  That was when I saw a slight movement, about twenty-five feet up, way-out on the edge of a heavy branch.

I blinked a few times until I focused on a dark brown Pheasant.  He blended in completely with the branch and tree.  I moved a few steps to the west and I could make out his long tail, it pointed west, his head to the east. As I walked away the entire Pheasant blended in with the lines of the tree.  I saw no difference in the coloring of either bird or tree!  I stared hard at him; I couldn’t find his slick purplish- blue head, only dark browns.

I could see he was starting to fidget.

I didn’t want to make him anymore nervous than I already had. I walked a few feet along the path, then turned back and said out loud, “You really think I could climb up there?”

Just then Uriah Howled!

I assumed he found the deer and would soon tire himself out.  I trudged back to the house. Uriah beat me back.  He got his biscuit and I was able to curl up on the couch with a cup of hot tea and a box of Kleenex…

Music Without An IPod~

I walked outside to a world powdered over with white, white snow, and a pale blue cloudless sky.

 The day was bight and quiet or so I thought. I didn’t slip or slide when I reached the path, which was no longer muddy, but covered in a thin layer of white.  The mud underneath was frozen it gave slightly as I walked; foot prints from yesterday were set in place. The beige grass waved in a greeting.

 Uriah kept whining at my side until I reached in my pocket and gave him one of his biscuits. Then he heard a sound and took off in the trees.

I walked quickly around the path, alone; my thoughts of a warm cup of coffee waiting for me in the kitchen stopped me from enjoying this moment.

I dragged my feet around trees and under the bushes.  I hurried past the dip in the ground, used as a runoff from flood waters; today it was empty, except for dried foliage strewn around.   Rocks and dirt spilled out of the muskrats burrows, frozen and covered in snow. 

I stepped into a pile of snow covered leaves. Sounds changed at that point. I heard the squeak of packed snow as I walked and the crisp sound of the leaves hidden under that snow.

 I stopped took off my knit hat and looked up into the sky, and listened.

A breeze, soft, and easy drifted around my legs and into the tall grass. Then it rustled along the ground, picking up speed, until the air moved in a sweeping fashion, and shifted upwards.  

My eyes were drawn to the tops of four trees; they still had a few dried leaves clinging to the top most branches. They glistened with ice and rustled, the sound rose, then drifted to silence as the wind moved on across the fields.

I closed my eyes and waited.  Listening patiently for…?

 I heard the wind moving towards me in a billowing roll. It was if the Maestro had walked up to the podium, raised both hands for silence towards the Orchestra.

 Everything stopped! Not a sound! Not a bird!  Not a bit of grass moved. Until his hand moved in the downward beat and the Orchestra started playing.  

Winds rolled over the fields. Sound amplified and increased in pitch. It was if the wind was given instruction to play, and enticed the birds to join in. They fluttered in the trees, waiting their turn. I imagined fairies and gnomes dancing on that wind.  

Trees limbs slipped against each other making sweet, higher pitch sounds of a flute. The sounds whispered, and then stopped.  After a few seconds, a melody was taken up by a small bird. His solo ended and the wind gently rustled the dry grass, applauding.   

I heard the heavy muffled roll, as a new gust of wind traveled above my head bringing everyone into play.

 Then silence…   I whispered to the wind, “Bravo.” 

I heard Uriah fussing about in the trees, I called for him.   “Uriah, you’re that one person in the audience that won’t be quiet”

He ran out at me, and promptly sat at my feet.

“To late the concert is over.” 

I headed back to the house, no longer in a hurry…

Picture from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vzevolozhsky%27s_costume_sketch_for_Nutcracker.jpg

Magical Gnomes Wander Through This Area

     Late morning, around eleven I grabbed my walking stick/ski pole and headed out to take a Uriah for a walk. First thing I noticed was the pair of old jeans that had been pulled out of the Trees and water 2burn pile and looked as though someone had played a game of tug of war with them. Using the end of my ski pole I was able to slip under one leg and flip the pants over a drooping branch of an old bog willow. I just want to see how badly the animal wanted them. Will he reach up and pull them down, or walk away form them?

     Tomorrow will tell.

     Walking along the tree line wearing my fashionable bright orange jacket, I decided to slip into the denser foliage. Normally I wouldn’t walk into the woods. Ticks treat me like a free taxi ride. Today I don’t have to worry; the tempeture is barely sixty degrees. Fingers crossed I am hoping they are all snoozing. At least that’s what I am hoping, as I peer around some fallen trees.

     “Hey, Uriah, give me a paw here, how do I get through these trees?” I stepped back and waited for Uriah to catch up to me. I patted his head and slipped him a milk bone.

      Uriah looked up at me, caught a scent and stuck his head in a large hole.   Eyes only, keeping his head buried in a hole in the ground.  I whistled, he started wagging his tail and pushed past me.  

     I weaved a drunken path deeper into the wooded area, attempted to bypass the heavy vines that were tangling around my legs, while totally avoiding the wild rose bushes. I didn’t get far and I had to peel off the heavy thorns as I stepped on the vines in order to get past them. Uriah was already at least twenty feet ahead of me.

     “Wait up” I called out; he stopped turned and rolled his bugging eyes. I could swear he was laughing!

    Maneuvering my way through the vines, I stepped into a darkened clearing.  The ground snapped and popped under foot like Rice Krispies. The air, damp and cool filled my universe with a heavy musk scent. I looked around half expecting a deer to jump out at me. Nothing moved. Uriah seemed unconcerned. The first thing I noticed was the deep black dirt, spongy with layers of moss, leaves and decomposing branches. The ground was damp, without a drop of standing water.  

     The remains of last September’s floods were evident everywhere. One of the older trees had fallen and was stretched out in front of me. Its bark had been scrapped and torn off in places. I knew that woodpeckers could tear into the bark; usually their damage consisted of uniform holes.

     Round grey mushrooms, the size of grapes, were growing along the broken base. It was beautiful in its demise; it was feeding the area, with an array of bugs and sweet rotting bark. I spotted three different types of moss growing along its trunk.    At that moment I nearly lost my senses and walked a little to close to the fallen tree. A warning came from above.  A hawk screeched! That high pitch piercing sound that let me know I was moving in his territory. The blue jays added to the sound, and then a lone crow flew in-between the trees above my head.

     Trees towering above me had large mushrooms growing in their branch bark ridges (where the branch connects to tree) standing straight up. Now I’ve seen mushrooms growing along the side of a tree, smaller mushrooms. These mushrooms were the size of a cantaloupe. Their base was the thickness of my fist and the tops like umbrellas. Once used by magical gnomes that are said to wander through this area. Hmmm! Maybe that’s were they store their umbrellas!

      I moved away from the downed tree. The view around me was perfection. I stood, just staring until Uriah came by, sat at my feet and offered me his paw.  Slipping my hand into my pocket I gave him another Milk Bone. That dog loves his treats!

      Reveling in the deep woodsy landscape spread out in front of me- I was awe struck.

      A carpet of three leafed plants, about a foot tall, spread out around me. I could see small tiny, tiny bright green sprouts pushing up through the rich black dirt while the sunlight tried to slip through the green canopy above me.   A few more steps and suddenly the trees opened up to a field of grass, nearly up to my waist.

     Nearly forgetting I wasn’t in Oz, Mother Nature sent in her tiny vampire mosquitoes letting me know it really wasn’t all that cold out, and in this kingdom they still reined supreme.  

     With that first slap to my forehead, the magic dissipated.  Looking around I could see scat marking the base of some of the trees, and just the thought of poison ivy had me slowly inching my way back towards the short grass near the house. I’ll come back   and take some notes, when the temperature drops a few more degrees.

“Friesner Herbarium”

“Tree identification

http://www.butler.edu/herbarium/treeid/treeparts.html

The Visual Dictionary”

http://www.infovisual.info/01/002_en.html

http://www.atozteacherstuff.com/Themes/Trees/

Raccoon scat”

http://www.wildernesscollege.com/raccoon-tracks.html

 

“YouTube screaming red-tail hawk”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33DWqRyAAUw

 

 

“Animal scat”

http://www.bear-tracker.com/animalscat.html