December 31, 2009. Thursday.
Situation: Work tonight, so rest early afternoon. Around three, put on my walking clothes. Mway hears me, scoots down the stairs ahead of me in anticipation. On the porch is a new stick, which Moi and Mway apparently used earlier today, firm and fresh, and more than a yard long,.
State of the Path. Inch of snow powder on the ground, lining the limbs of trees, from a snow that fell last night. It’s easy walking, feel a little wet inside my boots, but weather much warmer. Follow footsteps of Moi, paw prints of Mway, in the new snow. Would like to take side paths, fine snow, fine stick, too bad I’m in a hurry.
State of the Creek: The ice is receding from what it was yesterday, giving way to channels of water on the sunny side of the banks. Where the ice is still thick, it is now completely white and opaque, and it is still too thick to poke through with my walking stick. But I can shave off the ice at the edges facing the warmer bank sides. Fresh snow caps the rocks in the stream, lies on top of the strewn branches and logs. It is a brown, low stream today, flowing gently and quietly between the snow covered banks.The Fetch: I throw the stick exactly 21 times. In the same directions as yesterday. I like the feel of the longer stick as I’m throwing it, can take a good windup, feel pulses through my back and stomach muscles as it leaves my hand . Mway can track it, spy it among the weeds, easily, even when it falls and gets stuck in the same wild olive shrub as yesterday. The stick is almost as long as she is: sometimes she has to wrestle with it to draw it out of the weeds and to situate it comfortably between her teeth for carrying. As she carries it back, she runs a little slower than she would with a smaller stick, and the long stick dangles lopsided in her mouth. She looks a little like a small child struggling to carry a flag in a parade.