Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Into the Forest

Boy howdy, has life been busy.  I've been having migraines pretty bad again, and traveling to Spokane for appointments and other things, plus working on some jobs at home.  

Scout was thinking about eating the tractor when I left it parked in the pasture. This was on his birthday, I think.  He's a teenager now!  The big 13.  Crazy.  He's still such a big baby.

I went on a fishing trip with a friend up by Sandpoint.  We didn't catch anything but I loved seeing some of my old haunts from when I was 13ish.  I used to go stay up there for a couple weeks every summer with my best friend's family.  I'm hoping to go up this summer and rent one of their family houses on the lake with my friend.  We've been friends since 4th grade.  I love her.

Of course I took pictures of the dog.  This is Bella, my hunting/fishing/working buddy's dog.

This is me not catching fish on the Pack River.  I want a little fishing pack like that.

This is me not catching fish at a tiny lake.  Kelso lake maybe?  Or Granite lake?  I can't remember.

I had to totally clean out the inside of my trailer and fold up the tack room to get some cabinets, and I won't bore you with pictures of that, but check out what I did on the outside!  I think it looks much better without the rotting decals.  But I am thinking about getting other decals.  Maybe custom made.

It's a lot of work getting the decal adhesive off.  Still working on it.

Juniper, so cute.

Huckleberry.  Growing back his hair I took from him.  He's doing well despite his liver tumor.  Catching mice and even a rabbit.  Going hiking and finding moose legs. He's not done living yet!

My buddy showed me how to push a post into the ground when it's soft.  Not super easy, but maybe easier than digging a hole.  Maybe.  They don't just go in.  You have to rock it and mash it and bash it... We broke one off.  But I'll have a hitching rail near my firepit/hangout area once I finish that project.
He also came over and used our tractor with just the bucket and the small box scraper that we have, and fixed our crappy driveway that has had huge lumps and bumps and puddles for 16 years.  Two hours to fix something that we've been dealing with for 16 years.  Nice.

The Harvard elk herd.  I see them every morning that I drive out there, and it looks like they're there in the evening too.  I wonder how well the person who owns that field likes them eating the sprouting hay.  But I sure like seeing them!  Oh, actually this field is for grazing cattle later, but they are also eating up a fancy hay field just past those aspens.

We got a little boat.  It sprouted legs!  We floated it in our biggest pond, which isn't very big, to see if it leaks.  It was so much fun!  Like sailing in a bathtub, but everyone was smiling and laughing, and even the dog (Orion) loved it.  I can't wait to take it out for real.

Then I laid in the grass because my back hurt, and I became a cat bed.  These two cats are so great.  We got so lucky the day we adopted them.  Sweet as can be, and very efficient murder cats when it comes to mice.  That's Elvis on the left and Suki on the right.

Bella's long mane is a bit of a problem.  This happens ALL the time. 

I got it all worked out - a couple big witches knots like that and a lot of dreadlocks hidden underneath at the top.  Then I trimmed the bottom just enough that the wind won't catch it and twirl it.  I hope.

I didn't trim her forelock.  It is just naturally looking awkward for some reason.  But her eyes are still so sweet and beautiful.

And now we have Buster.  I startled him to get this picture.  Poor guy!

I finally put up my slow feed hay nets!  The girls are getting fat already.  I need to separate them and get them off grass.  Juniper was the first one to be curious and brave enough to check them out.

MudPig Scout wasn't far behind though.  Food is everything to him.

Everyone peacefully eating.  Orion wants to be a horse.  He even tries to eat hay sometimes.  Scout is behind me in this picture.  He's the most likely to try to steal everyone's feed, thinking maybe theirs will taste less like vitamins, I suppose.  

Orion again, being bendable and sweet and oh so happy. 

My niece is showing off the marshmallow in her pocket.  Uncooked.  If it was cooked that would be soooo bad.  She also got her bellybutton pierced recently.  It looks great on her.  But she had the gross audacity to say to me, when I told her bellybuttons gross me out, "What is a bellybutton but our first mouth?"  Ewww.  Her grossout thing is ears, so I started talking about earholes. 

Buster, it turns out, brought home from our camping trip fifty billion ticks on his underside.  So when I went to ride, I decided I shouldn't saddle up.  I spent an hour picking ticks off, sprayed him down really well with fly spray to kill the nasty beasts, and we went for a hike instead.

Mullein cigar anyone?

This postholing in knee-deep snow was SO hard for him.  But they were short stretches and he didn't quit on me.  What a guy!

I love this picture.  Donkey time.  Thinkin' about it.  I needed him to come down this steep bank so we could cross a trickle of a stream instead of going over it on the road where the snow was way too deep for Buster.  He did it no problemo.  I think he knew the alternative was that postholing, deep, horrible snow.

We took an after-hike break with coffee with too much condensed milk (I keep it in the trailer because it doesn't have to be refrigerated), smoked salmon made by my buddy's wife that was to die for, crackers, and some jerky for Orion and treats for Buster.

This picture should have gone above with the other marshmallow picture.  This is how you make smores when you can't have graham crackers.  My kids are smart.  :)

My niece and I went out to one of my sister's favorite trails the other day.  There was so much magic there.  I realized this past week that a lot of my stress is from not being able to get out to the forest.  That is my normal.  I just need to be there and breathe it all in.  I'm so glad the snow is melting.  Soon I can get my horse trailer in there and Buster and I will have adventures

Some big critter used this cedar tree as a scratching post.  You think bear or cougar?  I thought it could be deer rubbing their antlers, but in the second picture you can see claw marks.  I think cougar.

A forest spirit greeted us along the trail

Lungwort on a cool red-barked tree.  I don't know this tree.  I wonder if this is the inner bark, and the outer bark had fallen off.  It just isn't a tree bark I've seen in the woods.  Beautiful red, though.

I love the big cedars.  Throw my head back and open my chest and take a big deep breath and really, really appreciate them.  Thank them.  Thank all of the forest.  

I am thankful for so much.  The sunlight, the green, my dog. The air.  My ability to get back out to where I feel whole.  I need this.

Love and a triangle sparkle rock.  It amazes me how many tiny green things persist through the winter, under the snow.  They don't die back and come again, they are there all along, whole, waiting for the sun to come back.  I don't know how they do it, but I am impressed!

This is my chapel.  This is my Home.

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