Saturday, September 20, 2008



I took a walk after morning chores. I headed down the road and decided to take a walk streamside. The path has pretty much vanished, but I made my way to one of our favorite spots to access the stream and found it overgrown and the bank somewhat altered from all the heavy rain. I continued on into the chest high marsh grass, and paused as the footing became questionable.

I saw a large dragonfly hover, and mentally called at to it as I do when I see them, and I was suprised when it flew right at me and landed on my shirt . I stared down at it about eight inches away. It looked like another Western Flying Adder.
I stared into its multifaceted eyes trying to see if they were green, but from the angle I could not tell. It was about 4 1/2 inches long.

The dragonfly had caught a small winged insect, and one wing and part of the abdomen protruded from its mouth. The dragonfly stood on my shirt, chewing, and chewing, and I stared down fascinated. I could hear the water running in the stream. I was over waist deep in marsh grasses. I saw movement on the nearby New England Asters, and had a moment of panic when I thought I saw yellow jackets.

It would be a rude suprise to find myself standing inches away from a yellow jacket nest, as their sting is ferocious. But, they were honeybees. I shifted my weight and snapped a stick beneath my feet; the dragonfly stayed undisturbed. Finally, all that was left of the insect it was eating was the one wing, which dropped to my shirt.

The dragonfly stayed, and we continued to stare at each other.

I had a sudden impulse to touch it. I fought the impulse for some minutes, as in the past when I reach that point in dragonfly communion, the dragonfly will leap away at the movement. Finally my left hand came up and as the dragon fly remained still, I found myself wondering what part I wanted to touch.

I decided to touch the end of one of its four wings, and very lightly stroked the tip of the wing. It was so delicate I couldn't feel it. I pulled my hand back and the dragonfly drew one leg over its eye, most likely cleaning it, but it looked like a farewell wave, and it leapt back into the air and flew away.

Suddenly my surroundings seemed very wild, like another reality. I headed out of the marsh, watching where I was walking to avoid any wasp nests, and movement caught my eye. I stopped and saw just a few feet ahead of me a woodland jumping mouse, sitting and staring at me.

"Oh no, did I trample your nest?" I asked it.

It crossed my path in three or four hops and vanished into the grass to my left, and I took the next few steps gingerly hoping I had not disturbed a nest.

Once back to the house, I decided the day had come to try out the chainsaw which had been home from the shop for several weeks. The mechanic warned me that I might have to yank on it a bit to get it to go-which was not what I wanted to hear, as the yanking and stalling is quite a workout, especially with a cranky lower back.

So, I had not wanted to try the saw, but the nights have been cold enough, and even the days, to have a small fire in the woodstove to get the chill out of the house. I have been bundling up dried sticks from the woods, but I needed something bigger. Regular firewood makes too big of a fire and nearly cooked us out of the house last week.

Well, the saw, which is ten years old, has never run better. I fired it right up first pull, and for the first time since I have run it, it stayed running until I ran out of gas. Usually it stalls out if I try to set it down to adjust the woodpile, requiring more yanking on the cord. I had a new chain put on it, so it was cutting like a hot knife in butter.

I went after a pile of goatwood that had been stacked since last summer. Goatwood, a name I picked up from other wood-burning goat-owners, is what goats do to small trees. First they strip everything they can reach-about four feet off the ground. Bark and all. Then I go in and drop the tree and they strip all the rest-all the bark on every branch, every leaf, every bud. Goat treats.

I then take everything off I can handle with the brush cutters, and the rest is sorted hardwood from softwood and stacked in long piles. I cut pretty much all of the stack in about two hours. I put the saplings to work lugging armloads of it out of the woods and throwing it on a scrap of tarp. This was the result-about a third of a cord of wood that will be perfect for the fall. We'll see how long it will last...

I was so beat! My hands and forearms were numb from the vibration of the saw. My left bicep was so weak, I did not have the strength to lift a glass to my mouth afterwards. The muscle was trembling. LOL. But, a very nice feeling to have the saw running well and that pile taken care of!

Tonight after dark I took Peko down the drive. I tried not to think of the "Darkseekers". I bought "I Am Legend" with Will Smith a few days ago, and that movie was scarey!!!! I am really suprised that it was PG13!!!!!

Instead, I stared straight up at the Milky Way as Peko led me down the pitch dark drive. The stars are so beautiful tonight. A good day. :)

1 comment:

Tonia said...

That Movie scared me TOO!!! LOL Looks like a few of the trees the goats took care of at the old house!! Especially the Cedars!!!