Herons And Headwounds
This afternoon The RRR shared some delicious lamb stew with Mrs. RRR and then, as she went back to teach swimming lessons went out to spend his hour of "the poor man's insulin"... Walking in the woods. The the temperature was 77 F or 25 C, whichever you prefer. The sun was shining. Both the Inside and Outside dogs joined me. We wandered across the newly tilled field to the copse of woods East of the cabin. Then we followed the deer trail that runs along a ledge through it. Small forest plants have popped up giving a green carpet to walk upon. The wild rose bushes have all sprouted tiny leaves to mask their thorns. We climbed over fallen trees and pushed though vines, trying to avoid the poison ivy. The nasty ivy is distinguishable from grapevines by the tiny hairy rootlets it puts out to bind itself to the host trees.
The trail led us along toward the River. Birds busy picking mates and nest sites fluttered about, some resenting our intrusion. The rabbits and squirrels sat very still hoping to be overlooked, then exploded into movement and fled as we got closer. We paused at the edge of the woods just enjoying the spring time and newly bursting out life of nature. Then went along the low side of the copse to an old abandoned roadway. I saw something plastic sticking up out of the weeds of the former ditch. After I worried it loose I found I'd discovered evidence of an old crime. Someone years ago had stolen a vending machine that dispensed handfuls of candy and nuts for 25 cents. After breaking it open and taking the quarters and the food, they'd thrown it in this ditch. I left it standing tall, proud, and battered where Jake, who farms the land can wonder at it's presence the next time he works the field.
Across the field we came at last to the River. It is running very full as the controllers at the dam upstream let out as much water as they can without causing flooding. It calls to me, as rivers always call. God's conveyer belt to the sea, ready for me to get on and ride. It's a sensation I've never lost. We tramped along, spotting good places to fish, pitch a tent, go fishing. Then as we rounded a small cove, there was a great squawking and a bluish, ungangly form took to the air.
A Great Blue Heron. Awkward and clumsy on land they turn into gracious aerodynamics in the air. It is the transition from one state of being to another in a few seconds that is so intriguing. To me they look as perodoctyls must have looked rising from the antedeluvian swamps. Then we trapesed along the river and across the field to another small woodlot. True to form, a wildlife trail ran the length of it. We started through. About half way I had a transition of my own.
I ducked under a fallen tree limb and straightened too soon, banging my head on the bottom of the log. I saw stars and my ears rang. I expected only a bruise or a lump, but as I stumbled down the trail drops of bright red blood dripped off my eyebrows onto my glasses. There must have been a jagged stub of a branch hanging down and it had scraped deep into my scalp. Such wounds bleed generously, but on the head of someone on a large dose of Warfarin for his heart the bleeding becomes enthusiastic. I must have been a ludicrous sight walking out of the woods naked from the waist up with a bloody tee shirt tied over my head like a bonnet. I was somewhat faint from the blow to the head and found my walking stick very necessary.
I returned home and dumped the stained shirt into the bathtub and put a towel over my pillow to protect it and went to sleep. Mrs. RRR found me thus when she returned and gently cleaned the wound and disinfected it. I fell asleep again feeling loved and safe.