Idle thoughts disturbed
I’m sitting in a chair in the shade of an apple tree and thinkin’ some on a piece of plastic trim for the chalet siding that doesn’t fit, dang, when my musings are interrupted by two nefarious beasties.
The first beastie is a turkey. Two nights ago the turkey was roosting in said apple tree. when I came out of the studio to go to bed in the chalet I startled him and he burst into flight. I was neither shaken nor stirred. It was just another cherished moment of off grid life.
Today, whilst I muse, the turkey has crept up behind me, five feet away. No. More like 10 or 12 feet away. He’s making that chirping sound. Just a simple one note, not 1/5th of a second long. An inquiry. Hey. Hey. In human translation talk. Maybe look, look. Here, here. I don’t know.
Two by two
For the past few years. Two winters. I’ve had two male toms hanging out in the pine forest that splits my property. Their roosts are easy to find. One. Pine cones really really well chewed litter the forest floor under their roosts. And two. Well, I think you know what number two is.
So yesterday I walked through the pine forest and there they are. Maybe 50 feet, or 15 meters, away. The one guy is skulking away slowly. The big fella, he’s got his head raised way up into the bottom branches of one of the red pines. By the angle of his body and his neck I can tell he’s watching me. He’s also staying super still. I suspect that he realizes that by his awkward posture his profile is very unturkey like. Clever beastie.
Now it is really quite hot. 38C/100F with the humidity. So nobody wants to move if they don’t have too. I move slowly. Walk 15 paces. Pause. The skulker slowly moves away. The big fella. Rock solid. Finally, losing track of them both as I come past a tree into a little opening, he’s gone.
I walk the path I’ve cut with the tractor which leads through where the turks were. In the next clearing though. No birds to be seen.
As I walk further down this lane I keep clear, I see, way over, 100 feet, 30 meters away, there’s the big turk, again holding still, head down now, watching me. He doesn’t know he’s framed against the tree line. I understand why we developed colour vision. In black and white he’s invisible.
So today the turk creeps up behind me. he clucks or purrs or growls or scrapes, there are various words we use to describe bird and animal sounds, to let the other following know I’m on the porch in a chair and they don’t want to head further this way.
Or maybe he’s talking to me. Telling me he appreciates my benevolence. For I am a human.
Either way I’m not daring to so much as move my head. At this point I think he might not see me and he’s going to go right by. I’ve had it happen before with females. They do seem less wary.
A red jewel flies in
At that moment the second beastie arrives. This critter is a medium sized jewel bright red dragonfly. And it has a worm, no a moth larvae, in its mouth. I lands on my arm and begins chewing vigorously on the larvae. One apple saved I think to myself.
I watch as it looks at me with it’s weird huge eyes. They’re neat. All green but with a little black spec at the top. Kind of like an iris. Except dragonflies don’t have irises.
The jewel rapidly devours the larvae. The turks don’t pass by. They’ve snuck off in another direction. I wonder if they were coming by here for the rotten apple larvae too, the rotten apples, or the acorns falling from the oak tree; all good food sources. Of course they could also be heading down to the creek to get water and a fresh somewhat cooler breeze. It is even hotter now than the day i saw them in the forest.
Meanwhile the dragonfly has turned to chewing one of the hairs on my arm. Back and forth across its mouth the hair goes. I laugh quietly. Its flossing its teeth. This amuses me double as I know, living off grid, I don’t floss enough. Maybe twice a week as opposed to twice a day. Don’t tell my mom.
These are the blessed moments of off grid life. Sure you have triumphs. The chalet stays warm in the coldest winter in 1/2 a century. A supper of wild harvest mushrooms and fresh garden rewards finer than any New York dinner out.
But it’s really these moments. So rare. So ethereal. Just a fragment of time that reminds you how linked you are to this great adventure. How we each hold our end of the awareness thread and pull as needed.