Today was another beautiful St. Louis day and after cleaning house and doing the weekly shopping, I stopped by Powder Valley for an early evening walk.
There are three trails at Powder, but I always take the shortest and easiest. Though the others give more of a workout, the Tanglewood Trail is less stressful of my ankle. Besides there’s always something interesting happening at Tanglewood compared to the other trails because there’s more to eat, and hence more critters eating.
Tonight, the birds were especially frisky because of an earlier rain and then the late afternoon sunshine. This week’s weather has been so welcome after all the oppressive heat and storms this Spring has given us.
The surprise tonight happened at the corner to turn back to the beginning. Through the trees I saw one of the bucks, a handsome devil with a nice set of antlers. The bucks are notoriously shy and to see one is a very rare and lucky event. I ducked quickly behind a tree, but when I looked cautiously around, I could see the buck twisting his head around the branches in front of him to get a closer look at me. We stood there, both of us peeking around at each other until I decided to move on because he wouldn’t be able to eat or move away until I was gone.
Tanglewood is only 1/3 mile around, and I circle it however many times I want. I try to circle it at least three times, to make a mile, but it really depends on the weather and how achy I am And how many people are out. Another reason I like Tanglewood is it doesn’t have the same numbers of people the other trails do. When I walk, I usually prefer solitude.
The second time around, as I headed toward a glen-like area of the forest, I spotted a doe and her tiny, twin babies, barely up on their feet and moving around. I stopped dead to enjoy them and while I was standing there, a man walked quickly past, head down in contemplation of his work out. However, as he drew near the babies he spotted them and stopped dead in his tracks, and turned to me with a huge grin on his face. He then whipped out his phone and held it out to the deer. I came this close to calling out, “Are you a weblogger?”
After he left, I slowly made my way closer to the glen, to get a better look at the mother and babies. By this time, the fireflies were out, and all the bushes surrounding the deer were alight with their sparkle; the late afternoon sun touched on the canopy of leaves and vines overhead, creating an unearthly glow on the surroundings.
It was astonishing. There was no other word to call it, but astonishing. I stood, barely daring to breath until the deer started slowly walking away, and the fireflies dispersed.
After I left I headed to the library, driving through the residential areas I prefer rather than taking the main road. One house had a mother and her young daughter out on the porch, sitting and enjoying the cool temperatures. Another house had an old car parked in front and several young men with their heads under the hood, and further down an older woman was mowing her lawn. It’s my favorite neighborhood in all of St. Louis, though other places have finer homes.
At the library, I stopped at the tables in the front that have books for sale, fifty cents for a hard cover, a quarter for a paperback, and a dime for magazines. I’ve been slowly but surely picking up a book now and again, trying to rebuild my long lost collection. I figure if I like the book I pick up, I’ll keep it. Otherwise, I’ll donate it back to the library, and they can sell it again.
The two tonight seemed like rare catches. One is titled, “Slow Dancing on Dinosaur Bones” by Lana Witt. The flyleaf described the book as a Southern comic gothic – how could I resist a book that calls itself a Southern comic gothic?
The second was “The Loves of Ivy” by a local teacher name of Carl Williams. He had signed this copy of the book, writing:
Good to see you have my book. Ivy is still roaming Spring Creek.
Carl R Williams.
We’ll see how they do.
I have to agree with Scott when he said in comments in my last post he’d rather visit Australia than the Moon–I think I would rather travel this world then leave it. I’m not sure when it changed for me, wanting to stay on this earth rather than roam the stars. When I was younger all I wanted was to go into space. Now, all I want is to go to London again, see the rest of Europe, or perhaps make that visit to New Zealand or Australia.
I think it comes with getting older. The closer you get to that day when you leave Earth for good, the better the old girl looks.