Thursday, June 23, 2005

river walks

OK, you know about the heat, so I won't bore you further with the numbers. We're easing towards a storm here. The evening and morning were cloud-strewn and overcast. The air is mostly still, but occasionally a big thrust of sky power comes sailing through, and creatures large and small flare their nostrils into the wind to catch the faintest whiff of moisture in the distance....nope, not yet.

Meanwhile the cicadas are singing their shiny summer heat song by 7:30 a.m. Angus torpedoes onto my bed at 5:10 every morning to let me know it's light out; I can usually put him off for 20 minutes but by then the heat is already building--so if we're going to go walking, it's about time to get moving.

There's a paved river path for cyclers and runners and leashed-dog walkers stretching west from where I go daily, but the dogs and I both prefer to head east into the riverbed itself, and where we can all go without tethers. While it's technically still illegal to have dogs offleash in public, I've never seen anyone get ticketed for it.

I've found lots of potsherds in the riverbed, especially after a rain. And one day a couple of years ago I walked up the bank to a nearby unpopulated hill and have found many many more there, some decorated. In more recent months I've seen survey stakes all over the place, so I'm sure someone is going to be bulldozing the site for a big new fancy manybucks home in the near future.

Sometimes when I find one of these pieces of the past I can almost feel the vibrations from the ancient hands that shaped it, held it, used it. It's a sensation that's impossible to describe, but it takes me into almost a fugue state where time seems to slow down and I enter a "zone of remembrance" of that time and perhaps of my presence in it. It's a good thing that I don't happen upon other hikers most of the time.

I'm staying away from that area for now, as the last 2 times I was up there I came across sleeping rattlers. Sun Bear is pretty snake-savvy, but Angus ain't, and my credit card hasn't recovered from his last illness....I'm thinking about enrolling him in snake-aversion class. No kidding, they offer them through the Humane Society, and while dogs aren't nearly as likely to die from a snake bite as a human is, I'd prefer to skip the experience.

ciao for now....


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