November 30, 2010. Tuesday.
Situation: This morning when I wake up, Mway is lying on the floor at the foot of my bed. Last night Moi came home without meat for the freezer – she saw only a few more deer all day than I did just in a short while yesterday morning, and they were all doe (this year the game commission has limited the first five days of deer season in our county to the hunting of buck), so she has gone out hunting again today. There’s no frost on the ground; the sky is gray. Out my office window, the light is dim: I can’t see the red cones of the sumacs. I hear the roosters crowing now and then; one of them’s making almost a perfect cockle-doodle-doo: “ra-hah-roo-roo.” Yesterday I didn’t hear any gunshots all day, not even shortly before sunset when I took Mway out to the clearing to fetch stick again. I don’t know if there will be any hunters out today. I wonder if the deer will be hiding in the brush again down by the creek, or perhaps even on our field. Well, there’s only one way to find out.
State of the Path: When I step outside, I see the sidewalk’s wet, hear rain seeping through the trees, making a pucking sound on the cover to the pool. I creep down by the summer house; Mway takes a dump in the lane, then a couple more on the path. I walk by a tall narrow cedar (yesterday afternoon I had looked for blue cones on it; didn’t find any cones on it at all). Mway turns toward the clearing, but she doesn’t go very far; based on what we did yesterday, she’s half-expecting I’ll keep on going straight toward bug land, and she’s right. The water in the path before the ridge, which was icy yesterday, is now just soggy. I break through the ridge, look up into the field across the creek. I walk on the soggy path, pass through the “chokeberries,” don’t bother with the side path, cross the swale. I move fast along the creek, the upper parts of my pants now wet, drips of rain on my glasses. A multiflora branch snags my wool cap. As I approach the other end of bug land, I recall that I’ve seen deer jump up from the brush there. I walk up the soggy path toward the maples, walk across the plank on the ground, and, because I’m wet, decide not to take the side path here either. And that’s good, I reflect: if the deer are bedded down anywhere, it could be over there along the side path, and this way I won’t risk disturbing them.
State of the Creek: I see the riffles in the cascades coming toward me, ripples in the pools colliding with each other.
The Fetch: On the first toss, Mway bounds off in the wrong direction, and I have to help her find the stick. When I point to where it landed with my walking stick, she just jumps up at the pointer, and so I have to step toward where the stick lies until she stumbles upon it. Mway makes only four or five fetches before she starts chomping on the stick without dropping it, and we only play “Put it down” twice, which is good, because I’m cold and wet.