Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Summer Mornings in the Forest

Sometimes beauty comes in small packages. It’s easy to equate beauty with something as magnificent as the Grand Canyon. But I find beautiful things in smaller doses everywhere. This morning I found it in a small bunch of brown-eyed susans shooting color through the nearly monochromatic green surrounding it.

The weather here has been glorious the past several days, with lower temperatures and humidity. Perhaps as a result, the local animals have been more active and visible. This morning Dog and I saw several deer that watched us as we watched them until Dog stood on his hind legs to get a better view. That proved too much for them to stand so off they bounced.

Yesterday morning the foxes were barking again and woke me at 5 a.m., ending my night’s sleep. Usually, several times a week, I hear several barks in the early morning, sometimes closer, sometimes further away, as the local mated pair try to relocate each other after a night of hunting. It is, usually, just a few barks. Then they stop and quiet returns to the mountain. But Monday morning, the missing half did not answer or return for long minutes. The barking fox barked and barked, sometimes very loudly. After several minutes of this, Dog and Baby Dog could stand it no longer and joined the barking, which soon turned into howling. Eventually, I heard the answering fox bark from somewhere down in the valley. The near fox kept barking to give the mate a sound to home in on, and eventually they were reunited, to my great relief. I love sharing my corner of the woods with foxes, but I would appreciate them even more if they didn’t wake me up at 5 a.m. on a Monday morning. Such is life in the woods.

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