a walk on the wild side (with bits of civilization)

DSC01842I call this:  Wild Cucumber in Old Apple Tree While Garbage Bag Looks On

DSC01843How do you pronounce mullein??

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One winter I saw an otter appear out of a snow bank and slide into the creek.DSC01850

And so now I always look and look. But no otters today.

There are bits of green though. This surprises me almost as much as otters.DSC01855DSC01852

And the way shadows play in late afternoon sun.DSC01853DSC01854

And the dashes of red never get old.DSC01871

But after a while, walking aimlessly in the woods, things turn a bit Blair Witch Project and I remember this is where someone just the other day said they saw coyotes looking peckish.  A little too hastily I turn back for safer ground, nearly tripping over some villainous ankle-grabbing vine.DSC01856

And so, back in the civilized world… DSC01862
… I see something glistening up ahead…. A bit of magic afoot??

But no.
Just more civilization. DSC01864

These trees were planted the year we moved in. Some were inches tall. DSC01870 DSC01872 The trees have fared better than the sign.

And the signs of civilization fare better than… well, you know.

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“Whenever we give up, leave behind, and forget too much, there is always the danger that the things we have neglected will return with added force.”

—Carl Jung

 

hello, spring

On my way to the library I see a man pacing in his garage, smoking. I’ve seen him there before. He pretends he doesn’t notice me as I pass and I sense I’m meant to do the same. I feel sorry for those who like to indulge in a cigarette. They’re always huddled outside but no one waves, no one says Hello, fine weather, isn’t it!  the way you might to someone raking a lawn. I may have to change this pattern next time I go by.
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Further along the same street, a boy, playing hockey on his own,
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and the blueprints for a house interior sketched onto several squares of sidewalk.

This is the kitchen. The living room is to the left; bedrooms to the right.
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Around the corner, a man in a green ski jacket cleans a ski-doo the exact same shade as his coat. When I stop a few houses down to make some notes, I look back and notice the man staring at me. He’s actually stopped cleaning the ski-doo and looks concerned about me jotting things on a notepad with a pencil. It occurs to me that if I’d stopped to look at my BlackBerry or equivalent [which I don’t own] he’d be feeling much calmer. It reminds me of my experiment at the casino, and the unexpected things that frighten people.

At the library, a woman comes up to me, says, quite out of the blue, “You must be an artist,” and I assume she means because of the hat but I ask whatever makes her think so. She says she was driving by and saw me walking, saw me stop on the sidewalk and go back and take a picture of something on the ground. “Only someone with a certain kind of eye would do that,” she says. I tell her she must have a pretty good eye herself and we laugh the laugh of strangers.

This is the picture she saw me take.
IMG_5875Tell me this doesn’t look like a monkey spitting out an apricot.

Back outside a black pick-up truck goes through a red light and from the other end of the street, totally unrelated but at the same moment, tires squeal.

A woman in white plays drums on her steering wheel and sings while waiting for the light to change.

I take a different route home and find a nest of feathers. Not a good kind of nest.

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And in a nearby window, what appears to be a rather self-satisfied expression…IMG_5878
Close to home I find a bag crackling in the wind and so I detach it with the idea of collecting a few bits of the always-debris that is everywhere.
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Less than ten minutes later, I’m out of bag.IMG_5884
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amenities

The streets where I live are considerate.

For one thing, they make it very, very hard to lose your way.
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But if you should, don’t panic. There are places to take shelter.
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Or stop for a drink.
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Some with a view.
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[Choices are chilled or unchilled; puddled or bottled…]
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Big plus: there’s never a shortage of drinking vessels.
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And please use a napkin. [No need to be uncivilized.]
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There’s reading material.
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Complimentary coat check and/or coat.
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And excellent company.
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Thank you, streets…

always something

I rush outside this morning with the intention of catching a spectacular sunrise. But it’s not all sherbet colours as expected, merely yellow.
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Still, I’m well into the ravine by now, cleats attached to shoes and the crusty icy snow crunching and cracking, the weird human rhythm of it propelling me onward. [Animals, by contrast, are so quiet.]
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And so onward I gallump through the woods and into the park with the merely yellow sun rising to my left…
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and then once I get around the big loop…
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on my right.

No one about this early, or maybe because of the cold. My crunch and clack disturbing only one black squirrel and a flock of chickadees huddled among the lowest branches of a spruce.

Nothing to see but white white white…
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and then a splash of blue, turquoise even.
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Every time I see one of these colourful bags I wonder how it gets left behind. Does someone set it down in order to play fetch or Frisbee or chat at length with other dog walkers while sipping a Timmy’s and then simply wander off in a haze of forgetfulness? I think that’s why they’re made in these very striking ‘hello!!’ colours, so they’re hard to not see once the Frisbee is over, and yet…

There’s always something.
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trashy spring thawts

Who would be a worm? Such a thankless job. Having survived all winter in frozen ground with slim pickings food-wise only to be lured to the surface by a splash of springtime rain then end up stranded on scratchy bits of pavement as sun shines and feet and wheels are everywhere carelessly about.
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Worse, though, to be forgetful. Worm or human. To not have the sense you were born with. What else but a dose of dementia or dangerous daze could explain how it’s possible to find a lovely place for a cup of something and then wander off without it? Alas, beware, poor sweet forgetful soul! There are brick walls and open manholes out there…
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But the saddest thing of all must surely be the human who lives the sort of life where four large bags of garbage every two weeks cannot contain its rubbish so it must sneak under cover of darkness to public receptacles where it crams its excess…
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…forcing purveyors of said receptacles to take action with locks and smaller entry points. IMG_1162
(This of course does not apply to worms as they are clever enough to eat their own detritus.)