A Break from Writing

Well, actually, it wasn’t me writing today.  It was Robin Hobb. But the fingers get stiff and the elbow gets ‘mousers burn’ and I need to walk away from the keyboard for a time. So I took myself for a walk outside and the dogs came with me.  The spring rains have washed a lot more junk to the surface.  This was my find today.  I couldn’t pull it all the way out of the dirt, but I stood it up so I won’t hit it with the tractor.  I spent a good part of yesterday on the garage floor, trying to unwrap wire from the garden tractor’s blade.  This old mattress now looks like some sort of odd wire sculpture.

InstagramCapture_75bb4085-1e43-4be6-a6e3-f3d794c087d1This was my next find.  A big nest of red-headed ants in the middle of a tangle of Japanese knotweed and Himalayan blackberry that I need to clear out of the pasture.  Both of those plants are invasive species in Washington State.  I do battle constantly with the blackberries. This is my first skirmish with knotweed.

InstagramCapture_40f177a3-4674-4f1b-90b3-903805cd2689 And on across the pasture, where I found this. I don’t know how many dollars worth of little tiles these are.  The previous owners must have decided to salvage them. But whatever container they were in gave way, and I’ve no idea why they were stored out in the pasture.

Oddly pretty.

WP_20160319_005And on, following what we call the coyote trail, down to the bottom lands. The coyotes have begun to sing again at night, but I haven’t see any yet.  I hope they stay down by the river and away from my chickens.

InstagramCapture_33192eb9-0e52-4d32-8359-23ad51de2732There are some young nettles in this picture.  They make a nice spring tonic as a tea or a steamed vegetable, but they have to be picked with gloves.  I didn’t have a basket to put them in, so left them alone.

WP_20160319_007And into a part of the forest that is more or less open.  In a few more weeks, there will be flowers here.

WP_20160319_010WP_20160319_011In this part of the forest, I am a small life form and not essential to any part of it.  If I fell flat and died here, I’d be useful.  But I’m not needed here. This system functions perfectly without humanity, and that’s a thought that I find comforting.  I am a guest here and should mind my manners accordingly.

WP_20160319_012And the river reminds me that I can mark what I ‘own’ with pink surveyor’s tape. But the river will rise and the river will fall.  It will take trees and land and leave trees and land as it pleases.

WP_20160319_013A tiny announcement of spring ignores the calendar date.


The Spring day closes


Where there is water.

As Issa observed a long time ago.

And I wander on.  To where a boulder sticking out from the cliff face makes a sort of grotto. Water runs over the boulder in a random veil of drips.  Within is dark and moss and tiny plants.

WP_20160319_017It is time to follow the path back up the hill.  I can follow the gentle slope.  Or climb the cliff.

WP_20160319_019Brambles.  Loose earth. Dead branches in the way.  18 says I can make it, easy.  64 points out that if I fall, even with my cell phone, there is no one home to come pick me up.  I should take the trodden path.

WP_20160319_020But from the top, I can lean over and take this shot and say, ‘Some days, 18 still gets to win.  But probably not for too much longer.’

Time to go back to the house and the keyboard.  Time for Robin to get back to work.

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