A bird I do not know reminds me that I need to get a bird book – Audobon or something.  Another cackles like a monkey or like I imagine a monkey cackles; I’m not sure monkeys in zoos cackle. 5274689721

A swath of trees across the valley is lit up, old-school Lite Brite colors – vibrant yellow, deep orange, beams of red.

Meander sniffs low, forgetting that she hates wet grass. She stops, 20 feet ahead, and looks back. “I’m coming.” She turns, sniffs on.


It’s not a long walk, this one up the mountain to the lodge site. Ten minutes at most and all up hill. (I’m slow uphill.) But it’s a world away from the pixels and lists, from the dryer smoking the air by the climbing hydrangea on the north side of the farm house.


The dogwoods have shed their leaves, a quiet burlesque dancer in burgandy, the gorgeous skin roughed by years.

I stand at the top of the hill and gaze into the stream bed, our own private valley. Golden leaves twirl to the ground, and I treasure them, even as I also ache for the bare spins of their branches.

Quiet. Cackle. Crunch. Snuffle snuffle of puppy nose.

I sigh.