Tag Archive | walking

Walks

I’m grateful, as always, for walks with Stellar. He was extra wobbly today, but still game for anything. He passed on the far side of a tree, and I heard a cat bell; but I knew Topaz was inside. I paused, alert, then heard it again distinctly. .. coming from the far side of the tree where I could hear Stellar snoofing around the base of the trunk. He moved along as I crossed over snow to inspect. I knew what I’d see before I got there: finding an old cat collar is like winning a prize.

This one is years old, could have been off either cat in their early years of losing a dozen collars each.

I’ve only found half a dozen through the years. I’m grateful for that momentary thrill of surprise, and for the insight each gives me into the habits and range of my cats. Other prizes on our walks today, and each day, make each simple stroll an adventure into the unknown when we follow his senses and mine. He is my sixth sense, expanding the universe of my perception with his eyes, nose, and ears.

Turkey tracks along the driveway, but oddly, just one bird, not a flock.

We pass this piñon sometimes, with its enticing hole at eye level. It’s a good time to check it before someone starts nesting there in spring, so I poke my camera through and shoot. Nothing new yet, but evidence (below) of previous nesting, including grass and a bit of baling twine. The amber-colored pearls I think are just that, sap beads; that, or someone has hidden stolen gemstones in there. I’ll pop the phone in there now and then over the next few months and see what transpires.

A pair of ravens (one flew off), a pair of magpies, and a flock of piñon jays enlivened the driveway walk this evening.
View from the driveway.

We walk about four times a day, along a variety of loops and up the driveway once or twice, giving us a total of about a mile and a half of exercise. I’m grateful I have the health to walk, the dog to encourage me, the world of wonder at our feet, and a warm home to return to.

Thursday, February 20, lunchtime

Miniature daffodil poking up despite last night's frigid temperature.

Miniature daffodils poking up despite last night’s frigid temperature.

This morning I staggered out with my ski poles to check my traps. I have mousetraps in the Mothership and in the yurt, and with this dizziness upon me I have neglected to check them for weeks. Only one mouse among them, which fortunately hadn’t been there for too long. Then the dogs and I walked wide around the outside of the fence along a route I used to call the Breakfast Loop. We walked intermittently across the frozen tops of vast eight inch thick pillows of snow and wide patches of dust-dry dirt speckled with the small green rosettes of wild mustards and tiny chartreuse dots of the weedy alyssum.

When I first moved to this land twenty-one years ago, I lived in a small trailer with two dogs and two cats. Summer mornings I’d get up and walk in my nightgown with the dogs running ahead and the cats at my heels around this short loop through the woods that felt so daring and wild. Then, living in the wild was new to me, and the forest felt huge, the canyon far away. We’d finish the little loop and come home for breakfast. Sometimes, later in the day, we’d walk as far as the canyon. It felt like a big adventure. That was before the house, before the garden, the pond, the fenced yard. Over the next couple of years our morning walk evolved into a much larger loop that took us to the canyon every morning. We, I, expanded to fill the space available, and the Breakfast Loop fell into disuse. My soul now fills these woods, knows every turn in that longer trail even under a blanket of snow, seeks the familiar expanse of the canyon daily as it changes through the seasons.

In recent weeks my outings have been few and short and mostly purely functional: fill the bird feeders, hang out laundry, hitch a ride to the doctor. Day eighteen of this mysterious dizziness finds me losing patience with it, yearning to resume my active life, eager to clean up the garden as it emerges gradually from the snow that covered it after Thanksgiving, longing to hike or ski the length and breadth of the forest. But this housebound month has also been good for me, forced me to really slow down and contemplate some things I’ve been avoiding, distracted by the roller coaster of the seasons outside. What, really, is my purpose? How do I intend to enter old age, alone or in companionship? How can I most effectively contribute to the health of my community and the planet? What do I need to change to improve my own health going forward?

The questions go on and on. The answers remain elusive in the dizzy fog that enshrouds my mind. The best I can do now is eat well, drink water and no cocktails, take one step at a time, and avoid stepping on the buds of spring.

Crocus sprouts popping up under lambs' ears in the spring garden.

Crocus sprouts popping up under lambs’ ears in the spring garden.

Best egg ever. Just for fun, and practicing for summer guests, I bought ramekins just so I could make baked eggs. For one, I cooked one piece of bacon to crispiness, added a splash of olive oil to the fat, sautéed finely chopped onion, garlic, and shiitake, poured that in the ramekin, crumbled in the bacon and some St. André cheese, added a splash of cream, and cracked a local organic egg on top. Baked it at 350 for ten minutes. Perfect deliciousness!

Best egg ever. Just for fun, and practicing for summer guests, I bought ramekins just so I could make baked eggs. For one, I cooked one piece of bacon to crispiness, added a splash of olive oil to the fat, sautéed finely chopped onion, garlic, and shiitake, poured that in the ramekin, crumbled in the bacon and some St. André cheese, added a splash of cream, and cracked a local organic egg on top. Baked it at 350 for ten minutes. Perfect deliciousness!