September 30, 2010. Thursday.
Situation: Work in the afternoon, and when I get home about 3:30, there seems to be a break in the rain we’ve been having since I’m not sure when – at least since I’ve been up. I put on my walking clothes, but as soon as I get one boot on, the rain starts back up. I’m waiting for another break – and it looks like one’s coming now. Mway is waiting for me on the back porch. I’m not looking forward to getting wet from walking through the weeds, but I’ve managed that before.
State of the Path: When I put my boots back on I see there’s more cracks in them than I ever realized, and I think to myself I could probably fare just as well walking in my stocking feet. At the start of the path just beyond the walled garden, I brush back with one of my sticks a clump of goldenrod, managing to do so so neatly that hardly a drop of water snaps onto me, and I congratulate myself on what I’ve done. But soon, especially past the first line of sumacs, the sagging weeds become such a jumble I can’t parry them back as well – and the rainsoaked weeds begin slapping my pants. But I’m getting no wetter than I have on past walks. In my one boot, though, there’s a burr or something jabbing my skin. I look through the crack in the instep of the boot, but I don’t see anything, and the burr irritates me until finally it must dislodge or something because by the time I get down to the creek I no longer feel anything. Beyond the first line of sumacs, a breeze blows up, tossing up the lower green leaves of the second line of sumacs and revealing their silvery undersides, above which flutter the red leaves on the uppermost branches. The same thing is happening with the maples beyond: the wind flipping up the green leaves to expose their silvery bottoms.
State of the Creek: The aquifer must have filled, for the stream is flowing – too much for Mway to go into the water, and she disappears along the path somewhere and I don’t see her again until the clearing. The new gray water gushes along the very top of the banks, sweeping grass into its currents. I can hear it flowing. The flowerless touch-me-nots and other weeds hang precariously over the rushing water. Cow piss foam accumulates against leaf and branch debris, especially at the log jam. The green-sepaled plant stands right at the water’s edge; the leaves are almost all purple now, and so are even some of the sepals. There’s water flowing down through the swale, and the water in the feed channel reaches all the way to the bushes that obscure my view of the skating pond.
The Fetch: Mway seems especially energetic. After who knows how many tosses, when she brings the stick back and drops it at one point, there’s bark dirt streaking across her tongue and a piece of leaf stuck like a third eye on her forehead between her brown eyebrows.