Aug 3, 2008

The barrens today.

I am friends with foxes like a nome
and we make meat like philice tome

There is a spot not more than 500 yards from my house where I haven't been since I was a child. I went there today. And am glad I did. The reason I stayed away is perhaps strange. We played there when I was a kid. Mostly in a wadding pool sized pond. The water was warm and the pond life easy to capture. It was on a strange, badly eroded slope with little vegetation and pale, hardened silt for dirt. It was a landscape of shale. It was a warm and pleasant place, and it was the best place to catch snakes, and the only place you could get the neat little ringneck snakes that would coil around your fingers. I like exploring more than my playmates. One time, up by the top, I found what I thought was a badger den. Badgers don't live here.

A rich man bough that land, and at least 100 more acres of the hillside. His mile long driveway drained the little pond. He had some kid tell us that the gate to his property would call the police if we crossed through it. It was a stupid lie. I never believed it. But he didn't want us playing there, so we stopped going. The barren area was in clear view of his driveway, so sneaking in was too risky, with no place to hide. My friends were the ones who were scared to go. Reflecting, I think this may have been a conditioning point in my little brain. Today I still dislike 'trespassing'. I've met people who would walk across a neighbors yard until told not to. I guess it all depends on the neighborhood where you grew up.

Anyway, today, on my daily walk, I did the tabbo and went right down into the barrens. Within sight of the forbidden drive. The deer love it there. It is not like any place I'm familiar with. And it's less bare now. There are rose bushes and 30 foot tall pine trees and scattered patches of xxxxxxx. Some parts of it, in the summer, are hidden from the drive.

Other people have been staying out of this corner of the woods. I saw no evidence of human activity. Which is rare. On the more public faces of the hill you can't go very far at all without finding trash, cutmarks, flagging, ATV tracks, boot marks, and broken-through brush. The deer know it. That's where they run when I shoot them. The deer trails are the thickest I've seen.

I took a few pounds of oyster mushrooms from a dead tree in the damp of the spring at the top of the small run that has the oil pump push rod going up it under tripods. There is a fox den uphill from this spring and a goose berry bush down the run by the next lowest oil well, which is leaking into the water. Black berries can be had at this elevation but further west, that is out of the bowl left wise. All these things were unknown to me before yesterday's walk.

There is an open level spot, in the woods above the barrens, also a secret area. It's open aside from the rose bushes that I intend on encouraging into an impenetrable ring. I found a brick there from the hanley brickyard. Right now there is a cheikedee making the springtime noise.