This has nothing at all to do with farming, but I had an interesting day once I finished studying for the Real Estate exam I face this weekend. First, I went for a walk with my cats, Amos and Rascal. They followed me on a half mile round trip to the top of our little mountain. They get more comfortable each time we hike. When we got to the top, I turned back and said, “Let’s go get a treat!” The two of them leapt up, ran down the steep brushy road, through the trees, over mounds of grass and down branches, ZOOM! Rascal veered off up a little grade into the pines, and came out the other side, tumbled down the red clay bank head over paws, bounced up and kept running! (Rascal is not particularly athletic, so this was a sight to see.) I ran, too, and I am no more athletic than Rascal. It was fun. I got winded, they got their treats.
After that, I folded up a brown paper bag, lunch size, and stuffed it into my pocket. Out for another walk, down to the river in search of BONES. The earth is heaving up all sorts of treasures this spring. A couple of days ago I found a skull, and nearby, two unattached jaw bones. The skull was not large; narrow, and there was a space between the back teeth and the front, like where you put the bit in a horse’s mouth. No canines. Must be a grass eater. Deer, I think. (The little mountain deer here are shy and petite, compared to their giant, corn fed, assertive northern cousins.)
Yesterday, I found more bones and left them in a little pile beside the road, since I had nothing to put them in but pockets and oddly enough that creeps me out. Today, I picked those up and found more bones in a new spot, a quarter mile away. Long ribs, a bunch of connected vertabrae, teeth separated from the jaw, and some triangular, flat things I have yet to figure out. A couple of leg bones.
My little paper bag was filled to bursting. I had a couple of long, narrow ribs and a leg bone hanging between my fingers. I came up out of the 12′ deep creek bed and as I popped up next to the road, a car passed me. There I was, paper sack with bones sticking out… and I WAVED before I thought about it… bones flailing from between my fingers, like that horror movie guy, Freddie. So much for meeting that neighbor.
As I hiked the steep hill back up to our place, I took some pictures. Rocks, a little cave that makes me wonder what lives inside that damp, dark crease beneath the stone. (Something cute, in my mind.) A muddy looking lichen… The creek from above, native plants that I used to pay a LOT for back in Illinois. I trekked home and deposited my new bone collection on the picnic table on our front deck. (Sorry, honey… I love this stuff and they will look SO COOL when we have folks over!)
Once in the house, I decided to take a hot bath to erase the tension from 7 hours studying contracts and math formulas. I filled the tub, dumped in some Dr. Somebody’s Lavender Soothe and Sleep foaming bath stuff, and poured myself a glass of Cupcake Chardonnay. I grabbed my newest read, ” The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie” by Alan Bradley. A murder mystery from a child chemist’s point of view that is first in a trilogy! Aaaah. Sunk into herbal bliss.
Life is good, right?
A little orange cat face popped up over the side of the tub. Meow. Meow. MEOW. ”It’s okay, Amos, I am just taking a soak.” I laid back and opened my book, took a sip of wine. Merow. Merow. Merow. MEROOOOWWW. This from a little black and white periscope face. “It’s okay, Rascal, Mama is just relaxing.” MEOW. MEROW. Eventually the two agreed I was not drowning and settled down, but they kept an eye on me. (Only a creature who has done something BAD is submerged in water that smells like lavender, right?) Anyway, I began to read about the corpse in the garden under the cucumber leaves.
The public radio station I inadvertently left on switched from local bands to FUNDRAISING! Bath over. But lavender permeates the house, cats are happy Mama didn’t sink and drown, my studying is done, AND I have artifacts worth drawing. A satisfying day, overall. Lavender and bones.