Dozing polar bear, Indianapolis Zoo

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

No one should have poison ivy

...where I have poison ivy. No one. Ever.

Not even Republicans.

I just got oral steroids prescribed. I'm not screwing around with this.

Eleven years of peeing in the woods and this has never happened.

Till now.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Owl omen

In Mexico, it is believed that an owl's appearance can predict a death: owls are bad omens there and supernatural powers are attributed to them....More in line with the Native Americans of Southern California who believe that owls are sent to guide us through dark places as friends, I consider owls a good omens....[F]or me, every time I have been about to go through a major change in my life -- for the better -- a flesh-and-blood owl appears right at the time I'm making a decision. They do seem to appear to guide me.

Stacey O'Brien, Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl

Pizza was calling, and so we hiked out fifteen miles on Saturday, even though we'd planned to camp a couple miles from the trailhead and hike out Sunday morning. We emerged from the forest very close to dark, and lugged full packs and the dog into the car with a groan. By the time we drove the 11 miles to the main national forest road, it was completely dark and drizzling.

We drove around curve after curve, tailed for awhile by a large, impatient truck. At exactly the same moment the truck swerved into the left lane to leave us in the dust, our headlights shone on a statue sitting perfectly still on the yellow line in the middle of the road.

Except it wasn't a statue. It was an owl, sitting perfectly upright, illuminated by our headlights, staring straight at us. The truck passed on the left and we swerved to the right.

The owl never moved.

I don't know whether that owl was a harbinger of death, or of further change, or just an owl sitting on the yellow line. I just feel blessed to have seen her.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Trailhead to the trailhead

I'm off for three days of backpacking West Virginia's Monongahela National Forest. This time I hope to have something bloggable to say about my trip.