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Monday, February 5, 2018

The Bark Bucket

A chittering in low branches caught my attention.
"Hello Earnest, what's up?"

"I am up, Geo. I am wondering what that purple roundy thing is."

"Then come down. You're welcome to see for yourself."

"Ok, but no funny business. Don't eat me or anything."

"Of course not, Earnest. I'm not even a bit hungry for raw squirrel."

"I will feel safer if I sneak down. Things have been swooping at me lately --screechy things!"

"Hawks?

"I guess, coming down now."


"I don't see any hawks, Earnest. Should be safe."

"What about the other swoopers --hooty things?"

"Owls? None in evidence during daylight."

"Ok, Geo. What is this?"
"It's a purple plastic pail, Earnest --half-full of bark."

"DOG BARK??!!"

"Tree bark, cedar and redwood. You've never seen them before because they come from far away, from the coast and from Lebanon."

"Geo., the scent is intoxicating, comforting. I want to get in this bucket."

"It's Norma's bucket, Earnest. She's been spreading these barks all over the planting areas, but I don't think she'd mind if you..."
"Oh WOW! This is incredible! Geo., I smell primordial mountain forests, trees a thousand feet tall, land-masses calving into continents so many million years ago! I feel coastlines collide and pitch mountains far beyond our little lives, far before my life on this property."

"My dear, beautiful Earnest, you made a very tough decision to sneak down from the trees --my species did the same-- a decision with severe consequences..."

"Worse than swoopers? I felt so frightened!"

"Yes, far worse than hawks and owls, Earnest. That is not cowardice. That is bravery."

28 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Now there's a sound of Earnest approval.

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  2. You have made the perfect squirrel lounge and rest area, although I have rarely seen a squirrel at rest.

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    1. True, squirrels are seldom inert. Earnest does relax sometimes but usually he is...uh...ert.

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    2. Ert. I really have to remember that, Geo!

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  3. Oh, Geo. Like Earnest, I wish I could hide in the tree and take my loved ones with me. I think that I am no longer brave.

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    1. Arleen, if we march shoulder to shoulder into the future, perhaps we can in combination be brave. Deal?

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  4. I love this sweet, encouraging post, Geo. I read once that courage is not the lack of fear, but feeling the fear and doing the thing you fear anyway. Earnest - and many people - show courage every day.

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    1. O_Jenny, after functioning under and over various levels of anxiety for 68 years, I feel the truth of your comment --however, I now have what Thurber called the permanent jumps.

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  5. There are days when a nest high in the trees seems like a much safer place than down here in the concrete jungles of civilization.......I don't think our descent had anything to do with bravery though Geo.....just a natural transition that couldn't be denied. Earnest though....that was brave.

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    1. Delores, I will pass your compliment on to Earnest. There are various theories about ancient hominids coming out of trees. My personal favorite is we invented booze and fell out.

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  6. Earnest looks like he is having a good time with his new experience.

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    1. Emma, I suspect Earnest always has a good time, especially when he scolds me from the treetops for mistakes I haven't even made yet.

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  7. Bravery, indeed. And marvelous photos. You have the most splendid conversations.

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    1. Thanks Tom. Norma's photos amaze me because she can get so close to wild creatures. They sense no harm in her & she has never used a telephoto lens. I just dream up words and hang on.

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  8. What a delightful squirrel tale (tail?). Earnest was not only attracted by the intoxicating scent of primordial mountain forests - I'm certain that he also loved the beautiful purple color with the sunshine glowing through it.
    Great photos!

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    1. Jon, thanks. The translucent bucket is remarkable --the way it shows Earnest's shadow profile as a mighty beast thundering through ancient woods. Norma bought the bucket because it is bendy, but I like its visual effects.

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  9. Spotted two squirrels at ground level on my walk this morning- they had no time for chat. Nice to see Earnest being brave and smelling primordial forests - that seems a good reward for bravery. I also have a similar bucket, but mine is yellow xx

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    1. Dear Lisa, I hope you have as much fun with your bucket as we do. Yellow is a such a cheerful color; I'm sure the squirrels (elves and various forest-folk) appreciate it. I know they will because I used to live in a hollow hill (by golly, that rhymes --I should write a poem!).

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  10. Did the barrel bark? Or is it just a bark barrel?

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    1. Dear Bruce, It depends on which direction one's imagination grabs hold of it. But just now I was informed that barkbarrelbark is really a product called "Tub-Trug". They're not just for bark and squirrels either; you can put anything in them!

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  11. Earnest is much braver than I. (And a much better conversationalist than our resident squirrels.) If I were tucked safely in a tree, I might be tempted to stay there. Above it all, looking down benignly. Then again, the food and booze are much better down here on the ground.

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    1. Beautiful Susan, I suspect Earnest is really higher on the evolutionary tree than I am --literally and figuratively. I could live in the branches, safe from skulkers and swoopers, and take my meals up there, but squirrels don't even come down for booze! I blame Norma for keeping my feet on the ground --she is my anchor. If a species wants love and stability, it must risk terra firma sometimes.

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  12. There are times when hanging out in the trees seems appealing. But there's a lot of snow out there right now...

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    1. It makes for a softer landing --if wetter-- when we climb down. Squirrels, chipmunks, mice and various hibernal critters content themselves with a subnivean zone for which I almost qualify.

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  13. Oh how I love this conversation. I think you must really have chatted with that squirrel to have captured his thoughts so perfectly!

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    1. Thank you, Susan. There are lots of creatures to chat with here and I enjoy their company. We're all Earthlings together.

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