October 29, 2010. Friday.
Situation: Moi tells me that all the animals slept with her last night, Mway, Squeak, and Woody. “It was a peacable kingdom,” she says. “Good,” I say. This weekend we’re going to a nephew’s wedding (Moi’s side) in Upstate New York, have even taken off from work (we’ve never done this before). I’m looking forward to taking a trip somewhere, plus Jazz’s birthday is on Sunday, she’ll be there, and it will be nice to be with her then. I don’t know what my schedule for walks will be Saturday, Sunday. I have to work today, and will be leaving sometime shortly. Don’t get home till close to 5. Mway’s pacing.
State of the Path: Can’t find her stick, go back inside, look in music room. Moi says, “She’s lost all her sticks. I cut some new ones from the lilac bushes.” On the way to get one of those, find the birch branch. Maple by the pool has lost most its leaves. Stick to main path. Rain clouds on the horizon, but blue overhead. A rain drop or two in my face. My new walking pants don’t fit right, slide down my ass. More of the goldenrod has more dry brown leaves than green. With many weeds gone, gill-of-the-ground, though flowerless, on display again. From the distance, maples by the wigwams appear to still have yellow leaves, but get down there, find a dramatic loss. Beneath bare branches, prop sticks against Moi’s pole, pee before expanse of dry, crinkled maple leaves on the ground. Oaks still have their leaves, as does a big maple down by the creek. At log jam, stop, startled: a new wildflower along the path (if it’d been there before, surely I would’ve seen it). Small; two clusters of teensy-petaled yellow goldrenrod-like flowers, one brownish on top; soft, oval leaves. (Moi had mentioned that a wildflower had made the news recently, a poisonous plant now supposedly in bloom, “Snake something.” Check snake names in Audubon: wasn’t broom snakeweed, wasn’t black or white snakeroot, nor Seneca snakeroot. Leaf through yellow flower section: find nothing.
State of the Creek: Walking along black winding, nearly immobile stream, startled to see what looks like a willow sapling leaning over water from opposite bank (with plenty of green leaves still on it), its top roots a gnarled clump sitting above ground. Could it be an offshoot from the willow Moi had planted? Look for the planting, near the Boy’s paintball barrier: its leaves are mostly gone.
The Fetch: Stand in spot I had been, toss stick into untrampled goldenrod. Fuzz flies as Mway lunges. When she starts chomping at stick face to face with me, I first tell her “good enough,” then considering it may be few days before next walk, play “Put it down” twice. What looks like mosquitoes flit in path along sumacs. Back in house, don’t bother to put walking clothes in drier, but do take what turns out to be a long shower.