We have a Little Black Cat, also called Shadow because when she first showed up in the yard (before we adopted her and brought her inside), she would follow me around like a shadow, even if I was mowing the lawn. Shadow Cat has been inside with us for a couple of years now, and is fairly content with her new family feline and human. She loves attention, and will bat at your hand if you don’t pet her when you walk by her perch. I have a table set up in the living room where I am working on a 1,000 piece puzzle. Well Shadow decided to help me today. She jumped up prancing around on the piles of group pieces. Pawed at them, knocked some off the table, jumped down and batted them across the living room. After I retrieved and returned them, she jumped up on the the puzzle for another try. After several attempts of removing her, she jumped and slid on loose puzzle pieces dumping a bunch in my lap. This may sound aggravating, but the humor of it had me laughing while I chased after a small chasing puzzle pieces around the room. Eventually, all got back to normal, where this Little Black Cat took another try at puzzle helping. I scooped her up and snuggled her down in my lap where she decided was a better place to be and promptly fell asleep curled up and purring.
Sitting on the porch in a rocking chair enjoying the peaceful afternoon, watching the chipmunks and chickadees on the bird feeder. Suddenly a large brown blur whizzes by, the animals instantly scatter and hide. The blur banks sharply sideways, furiously flapping its wings, narrowly missing the feeder and then the porch railing. Right behind the sharp shinned hawk are two black birds, squawking their displeasure. They chase the hawk up into the maple tree by the driveway, where he tarries only a moment to catch a breath between the hectoring blackbirds, before dipping off the branch swinging low over the yard, then gaining altitude and flying out over the back hill out of sight. Once the hawk goes higher up and away from the yard, the blackbirds glide back and the as the tranquility returns to the neighborhood.
Early morning, birds cheerily singing, slanted sunbeams dance through the trees, green and yellow wavering light. Sitting up with the blankets pulled around me against the morning chill, I look outside the screen tent windows to find those wicked noisy birds. My ears tell me they are everywhere, but not to be seen. I glance up at the softly tinkling wind chime hanging from the tarp overhead and notice a perfectly formed geometric spider web spun between the tarp and pole holding it up. Sunlight glistens and shines through the silken strands making the gossamer threads shimmer. If I were a spider, I would make my home in such a place to catch the first light of sunrise so that I could live suspended in a house of dazzling sparkle sliver sunbeams.
Darkness, seems total and complete until you actually look at the darkness and notice a slight lessening of the darkness between the tree branches and leaves, where the night sky barely peaks through. I have groggily woken to a quiet dark world outside the tent windows. A breeze stir and whispers through the leaves, then almost imperceptibly, a hooting sound hauntingly echos far away through the forest and is answered in turn by another owl nearer, but still far away enough to seem dreamlike in their singing. I fall back to sleep with the barred owl lullaby.
Evening, sun has set, fading light in the western sky overlooking the road framed by newly green trees. Standing at the kitchen sink gazing out the picture window, dark grey, heavy, ponderous clouds are accumulating far out over the horizon. The last of the sunlight shines defiantly blinding silver rays radiating from behind the storm front. The edge of the storm is roiling, undulating, angry promise of thunder and lightening to come. Here over the house all is calm in the darkening evening, save for a whisper of wind that soon will whip up into a fierce frenzy, and a faint hint of impending electricity in the air. Impressive summer thunderstorm is brewing!
I woke up too early, listening to the rapid roar in the twilight. Climbed out of my, no so gracefully, to go pee, the woods were misty and mysterious in the half light of predawn. Afterwards I lay awake wish I could go back to sleep as the light grew steadily brighter. Giving up, I took my sleeping bag with this time and went down to the beach to lay in a raft between the thwarts on top of some fife jackets. This position had me cradled and rocking in the calm eddy with the rapid surging by just feet away. Curled inside my cozy blanket, I peeked out and saw a large sparkling bright blue white star just above the ridge where the sun was still hidden but obviously on its way to light the day in dazzling sunlight. I rarely get to see the morning star. Where I live, the eastern horizon is hidden behind the forest behind the house, so although we can see the sun through the trees when is rises, there is no way to see the morning star. I feel blessed and fall back top sleep for a greatly appreciated two more hours.
Today is my birthday. I am now 47 years old. Today is the start of my first overnight rafting trip of the season. We paddle in, set up camp in the gorge, and paddle out tomorrow. Overnights are a lot of work, but spending the night in the gorge is worth it. This group is all women about my age and looking for wicked fun outside their normal comfort zone. Perfect! It was an amazing day on the water. I guided the paddle raft and a colleague (the only male on the trip) took the oar rig down with all the gear. We made camp in the on a sandy beach in the middle of a mile long rapid; so we had the roaring river in our ears and hearts all night long. We all went swimming (yes the water is still to cold but we did it anyway) before dinner and watched to moon come up over the ridge across the river. Its almost full and made the white water of the rapid glow iridescent against the blackness of the night. Dinner was cooked over the open fire and everybody slept soundly and peacefully. Year 47+ is off to a good start!