Safe for Another Year

A little over a year ago I wrote Thankful Turkeys Celebrate – Turkey Day of Infamy 2018.

You’ll be thrilled to know they made it through another remembrance of avian holocaust.

We waited to publish this year’s turkey celebration until all holidays had past.

Safer for them, safer for us.

Sometimes I’ll go out and commune with them. Don’t want to be mistaken for a turkey, me.

You’ll note that Agnes is not in attendance.

We’re concerned, as we miss our friends even though we know they wait for us.

That is The Old Ones promise handed down since before Two-Legs walked on two legs; “We’ll wait for you.”

They have no sense of worlds beyond their own (or at least they’re not telling. I mean, would you? And ruin the neighborhood?) and, as Borges said, “To be immortal is commonplace; except for man, all creatures are immortal, for they are ignorant of death.”

So we ask those that move on to wait for us.

Or they tell us they will.

There is no hurry.

All things return.

 

Ghosts in the Night (Mel and Janice, really)

A rustling woke us to beauty

One recent night, quite late, we heard a rustling.

No, not reindeer.

Mel and Janice, two mated Coyote, come to visit.

Coyote come at night most often. We’ve seen one or two during the day and we know there’s too much activity for them to stick around. We had a family of beautiful gray fox years ago that came often during daylight, probably because we made sure there was food available.

We still have fox, although also at night.

Smart Old Ones, they.

The frequency we see of Mel and Janice tells us they either have pups or soon will. It can’t be too soon because it is now winter and few Old Ones litter in the bitter cold. Late Winter, early Spring is best. Little ones have a chance to grow through the summer and prepare for a possible scarce winter ahead.

We are careful not to be our Old Ones primary food source.

Sometimes it is challenging, when you see a weak one, a runt. Our hearts tear but that is Nature’s way of keeping the line clean.

Sometimes I wonder why humanity gave up such practices.

But then I also know I would not have survived. Born blind, I would be too much a burden for a tribe to bear, any other talents I possess may have appeared too late to ameliorate the burden.

A friend once said I was probably the smartest person she knew. I laughed. Her husband is a skilled carpenter. He can go from tree to house given enough time.

“People will always ask Mike for help. He knows how to do things. I’ve never had anyone come to me and say, ‘Joseph, I desperately need this double-differential calculated!’,” I said.

We all laughed.

But outside, the Old Ones dined and kept their ways, too wise for us, their teachings only shared when properly asked.

 

Full Tummies Before Bedtime

Sleep well, Little Ones. See you when you awake

Despite what you see, we are snow covered here.

Some patches of grass poke through where bright sunshine splashes the earth all day long, and for the most part the earth is wearing winter white.

We knew a heavy first snow approached.

The Old Ones told us.

They dined and dined and dined.

One might call them gluttonous if you didn’t know they prepared for long sleeps.

Truth be told, raccoons sleep heavily and some say they hibernate but the biology of hibernation eludes them.

Not that they seek it out, me thinks.

But right before a long nap, a full tummy.

Something to keep the inner fires burning hot while all about you is cold and quiet.

Nature’s design is a good one, perfected through millenia of modification.

Let’s leave it so, shall we?

 

Arabeth and Ophelia

Table for One. And another Table for One.

A while back I wrote about Ophelia and Arabeth.

Well, they’re back at it again.

This time Ophelia came to dine first.

Arabeth, you’ll note, is hesitant.

Which is why we set a separate table for her a little further back.

Good host and hostess, we.

Not peace at all costs, more like peace if it’s an obtainable solution.

But truth is, we’ve never had squabbles in our backyard.

Okay, once when some foolish chipmunk decided to have a go at Agnes’s seeds (hence the Chippie War Dance).

But such things are rare.

If only Two-Legs got along as well.

 

Opalina Meets WinterMan

It’s good to go to bed with a happy tummy

Several northeast North American aboriginal myths deal with WinterMan, a hunter who follows the seasonal migrations of game herds.

One myth that I’m particularly fond of deals with the first and last snows of a season; the first snow is WinterMan following the herds south, the last snow is WinterMan following the herds north.

You can tell what kind of weather is coming based on the tracks WinterMan leaves. Heavy first snow indicates a long, wet winter, light snow indicates a cold, dry winter. Heavy last snow indicates good planting and harvests, light last snow indicates a dry, hot summer.

So far WinterMan has been dead on.

Funny, that.

WinterMan’s arrows, spears, axe, and what-not are the cold, lack of food, lack of shelter, things like that. Stories tell of WinterMan gathering people in his warm embrace, probably because hypothermia causes delusions and death comes in sleep.

Stories also tell of WinterMan caring for those in The Wild.

Case in point, Opalina. This is her first winter. She came out for dinner shortly after WinterMan passed through.

Okay, we provided the food.

But only because WinterMan suggested it.