are you suffering from a face mauling?

covered in 10,000 micro-ticks?

Then join me n Puppy Moss in the valerian root and wine-inspired thought-coma we’ve both entered. We are covered in oil and freshly bathed with bug sprayed bed and new sheets and let me ask you to try to stop looking for ticks once you’ve found even one.


Welcome to the dark side of being outside. I am heartily convinced that this minor insectoid setback won’t deter me from finding a place to build my aerie, but I’m beginning to think trees may be less than perfect.

Puppy and I started today at just after dawn with this gentle dawn.


That’s Lily’s pasture and just north of it, at the 11 oclock of this photo is the cow pasture. By the way, those strings that seem to keep the cows back, they’re electrified. Good to know. We head past the lazily curious beef-to-be’s back to our back path from yesterday. This path is magnificent. Wandering, also lazy, clear walking.


I found a bunch of these weird mushrooms. Saw these sticks broken beautifully, too.


There’s lots of ways you can tell a path is well trod, and lots of broken sticks is one of them. These tiny dark purple flowers with nearly black leaves are everywhere. There are fewer small dry creek beds as on the other side of the road. You can see that the water runoff mainly uses this path to go downhill. The path is flat on one side and a foot deep ravine on the other. I’m remembering we’re still in the cow pasture, it’s big.

The path feeds out into a meadow with all sorts of directions to head in. I count three to start with, one to each side, smaller maybe for deer. The third is the obvious choice because it’s the easy crossing for a nice looking new creek, flowing. That’s the way I’m gonna go but just want to skirt the rest of the meadow.There’s a sittin’ tree, for sure. Sittin’ Trees are tall trees that have fallen over, but kept on living. Their trunk lays on the ground strong instead of rotten, a place you walk to to get away.

Puppy investigates a big lump of white on the ground, so I head that way. Someone has left their mark here, suddenly I’m a professional archaeologist! I’ve found some sort of white marblish sculpture-thing which is without a doubt man-made. What stories will it tell of the people who came before!? I like this shot because it looks like the statue is taking a selfie.


I keep walking. I see it before Puppy does, our first skeleton, now I’m like a NatGeo level professional archaelogist! Bones, definitely a femur, ribs, jawbone and further on, a skull. This appears to be a 21st century member of the Bovine Blahteblah Species probably died in a flash flood from the nearby creek and fed mountains of families of animals which fed planets of micro-ticks which now feast on me. The vertebrae are my favorite bones. To have a spine is much better then lend a hand or knee-jerk reaction.


I wander over to the creek and luckily am quietly gazing along the right-hand side of the creek bed when there’s a deer, bout the width of your grandparent’s house away. She leaps high enough to scale pop-pop’s garage door. It’s fucking majestic, but that’s absolutely not what I’m thinking at all. Fucking Puppy. Without question, there is no question that none other than puppy flushed that deer and he’s about to be off for miles. This is the dreaded deer chase, feared by every dog’s slave and the content of so many hushed campfire tales of loss.

The deer is at the top of its graceful leap, it’s been exactly .2 of a second. I scream:


Full name out, the inexplicable knee-jerk scream of absolutely not, the mega-command-function, the distance correction: HEP! I don’t have the first idea where that sound came from, probably my Grandfather, but it works.

It flushes 7 more deer of all sizes and antlers and tan coat and a grace under pressure I am not even close to exhibiting. I just keep yellin for the dog to not obey his doggy nature. Basically for no other reason than I don’t want to have to worry about him for the next two hours.

At this moment, Murph (the yellow lab with the limp and the stick and the panting) shows up. Wow, where the fuck am I?

I holler for Puppy Moss another minute or so when he comes trotting back from his dance with the deer. Now the pack of us head to the crossing. My first email address on the internet was “yellowleaf.” I always found a particular beauty in the changing of color and falling though the sky. It’s not terribly surprising that over 20 years of looking within that radical change and flying blind are my top metaphors. They are everywhere I am.


We’re back at the river house where the kayaks stay. Amazing. What a less strenuous path than the road. We stop by the river and head up to watch the river from the decks.

And that’s when the tick horrorshow began. I sit nicely in the sun where I can see better and pull a dozen micro-ticks head and all out of my knee skin. Fuck. They. Are. Everywhere.

They are still everywhere. Baths and Oils and New Sheets and Bug Spray and All This Time Typing and they are still everywhere. Does your head itch? Is something crawling on your leg? look! On you back? FUCK YOU CAN”T LOOK ON YOUR BACK!

Yeah, welcome to why Puppy and I took so many valerian.

ps: I don’t know what happened to his head. Seems fine.



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