A Walk In The Woods

Marsh Marigold growing by the stream in the woods

The sheep led by Asher followed me to the back pasture.  “Not yet,” I told them as I slipped between the gates, making sure not to open them too wide and closing them quickly behind me.

Zinnia was at my heals and I knew Fate would slip under the gate by the time I got to to the Gulley Bridge.

A low, battered purple and white violet, greeted me at the stone wall.

At the stream one of the Marsh Marigolds was in full bloom.  The thick petals and saturated yellow, a feast this time of year.

The dead tree with the owl pellets at its roots

Next I visited the dead standing tree.  At its roots are a collection of owl pellets.  It’s easy to imagine the owl living here, high up in one of the old woodpecker holes.

One of the owl pellets

Each pellet made of tiny bones poking out of matted gray fur.  Off to the side a skull, its teeth intact.

A mouse skull?

There were no other flowers yet, but I found many mounds of columbine leaves and one trout lily on the verge of opening up.

Trout Lily

And a few ferns shrouded in cocoon-like webs waiting to unfurl.


There seems to be more life than death this time of year.  But with the help of Zinnia and Fate I found the remains of a squirrel, mostly fur and bones in the hollow of a fallen tree.  It made a kind of casket, the space in the log only wide enough to peer into.

Scat on the rock wall

And on the way back, scat on the stone wall.

It must be the Bobcat I thought.  I couldn’t imagine a coyote squatting so high on the wall.  But then to prove me wrong, Fate jumped up on the rocks and put her face in mine.

I heard the donkeys bray in the distance.

“I’m coming,” I said more to myself than the animals.  But I have a feeling they heard me.


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