Thursday, August 09, 2007

Dog Days

I'm about to take the dog for a walk.

What's odd is that I've lived here for about 15 years, and never knew half of what was out there. Yesterday the two of us met a dozen huge wild turkeys, back by the beehives, and they ran or flew off into the trees grumbling and cackling. The day before that we encountered a mole -- "the little gentleman in the velvet jacket" as the Jacobites used to toast him -- with huge paws scrabbling velvetly through the leaf-mould, and I pulled out my phone and filmed him for a few seconds. I've seen fireflies and fireworks, discovered skeletons and mushrooms and all manner of interesting plants. I learned what walnuts smell like when they're still on the tree (a strange mixture of citrus and carpentry). I've met grouse and rabbits (Cabal chases rabbits unsuccessfully when he spots them. Sometimes he doesn't spot them. Several times I've been convinced that he had actually spotted them and was pretending not to because he wasn't sure what he'd do if ever he caught one) (He has no such compunction about chasing cats. Yesterday he shot off after poor Fred, who went straight up a tree where he relaxed and was superior). I've seen some amazing wildflowers too.

I should post some photos of him here. When we got him, he had a grey ruff around his neck, from three years of being chained up. These days he's just white all over, so much so that someone who had seen him at the beginning wanted to know if we were bleaching him. He still looks a bit like a wolf. He barks a bit, which he never used to do, to let us know that people are at the door. And he doesn't know why I'm sitting and typing when I could be off wandering the trails at the back of the house, the ones that used to be completely overgrown and forgotten. The ones I never used to walk at all.

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