Jack’s Walk

 

©voyager, all rights reserved

Oh My! Jack and I are still exhausted from yesterday’s party. It was a fabulous day, filled with happy surprises, but today both of us are bleary-eyed and bushed. Jack says that fairie dust can muddle you up and make you sleepy, and that’s exactly how I feel – muddled and ready for another nap.

“Don’t worry, Mummy. The forgetting will go away soon.”

“Will the bumblebees in my head also go away?”

“Silly, mummy. Of course, they will. Are they bothering you?”

“Not really. I’m starting to like the way they tickle when they dance.” I reached over to Jack and wiggled my fingers into the thick pile of his ruff and started to scratch. Jack tilted his head back and closed his eyes.

“Jack, will I be able to remember your special day, or will it fade away with the fairie dust?”

He put his head down and laughed,

“Mummy! That’s a silly question. Of course, you’ll be able to remember. When the fairie dust fades, it will all make sense. I promise.” he wiggled closer to me and said, “Until then, I think we should just cuddle and close our eyes.”

“Alright, Jack, that sounds perfect. Hopefully, tomorrow I’ll be able to process all the vivid party vignettes in my head into a narrative. Maybe the bees can help.

 

Jack’s Walk

A hot dog full of sticky, little burrs. ©voyager, all rights reserved.

This morning Jack and I went for a walk in our wee woods. We hadn’t been for several weeks because the trail is about a kilometre long, and Jack can’t walk that far in the heat anymore. He’s been missing his friends, though, and today he wanted to go, saying that he could stop for rests and that the shade of the woods would keep him from overheating. I trust Jack’s instincts, so I packed 2 litres of water, some dark, sweet cherries and a sticky, ripe peach for me along with a tuna sandwich and some biscuits to share with Bubba, plus a book and a small, blue and white checked picnic cloth. I thought we’d make a morning of it.

It wasn’t oppressively hot when we set out, but it was humid, and Jack and I both felt heavy and lumbering.  Our steps soon got lighter, though, as we were beset upon by dozens of fairies flitting around us and chatting excitedly. They were most excited to see Jack and kept telling him how much he had been missed. Many of the younger fairies giggled and asked Jack if they could ride on his back, and he happily obliged them all. Bits of colourful glitter sparkled in the dappled sunlight as the fairies darted about, and the colours mixed and swirled like a kaleidoscope. There was so much fairie dust in the air that it made me sneeze twice, and caused a wave of laughter that chinkled like chimes and echoed through the trees. We stopped briefly for water before we finally arrived at the first bench, where we sat and shared our sandwich.

It seems that Jack is a bit of a celebrity since his adventures finding Oma Troutchen, and everyone wanted to say hello. I could see Jack’s spirits rising as the fairies came and went, each arrival and departure changing the colours in the air and the wafting scent of mingling flowers. They were all very polite, and each introduced themselves, but there were so many of them that I soon lost track of just who was who. It was just a chaos of fairies, and my senses were somewhat overcome. There was one fairy, though, that stayed with us all the way around. Her name was Apple, and she smelled delicious, and she kept asking questions about Jack. Where was he born, and on what day? Was he a country dog or a city dog? What were his favourite things? When she learned that Jack’s full name is Wasserhund’s King Jackson Brown, she got quite excited and wanted to know more about his royal roots. Jack is shy about his family history, but Apple was persistent, and Jack finally opened up about his birth family’s estate and their status as Canadian Field Champions. I smiled as Jack made sure she understood that his real, forever parents are the humble but loving Mr. and me. When Apple found out that Jack was born on February 29, she was all aflutter, calling the day Moontide Makeup Day and saying that it’s no wonder Jack is so brave.

We sat for about 20 minutes, chatting and laughing as we watched the antics of a group of squirrels busy with squirrel shenanigans until Jack said he was ready to carry on. He struggled to stand, and the fairies quickly sprinkled some of their magic dust to help him up, and we were soon on our way again. Apple flew up and sat on my shoulder, and I sneezed again, making her wobble, but she soon settled down, and I felt my steps lighten as if gravity was loosening its hold. As we walked, the chaos of fairies continued until it seemed the whole forest was alive with moving colour and the music of fairy voices. I told Apple how beautiful it all was, and she laughed, telling me that the forest is always alive like this, but humans haven’t the senses to see or hear or smell it all. Apple said that because I had helped find Oma Troutchen, they had agreed to use some fairy magic to allow me to see their world. I thanked her for the fabulous gift, and she leaned over to stroke my cheek in reply. It was beguiling, and I was so enchanted by it all that time faded away. Before I knew it, we were at the end of the trail, and I could see that Jack was weary. It seems even fairy magic isn’t enough to erase Jack’s years, but he was happy. His eyes were bright, his tail was high, and his spirit shone as brightly as the glittered watercolour trails of magic swirling through the trees.

As we made our way to the car, Apple whispered in my ear that the fairies were planning a party to thank Jack and invited us to return at the same hour in three days’ time. She promised the day would be bright, but fresher and asked me to not to tell Jack; they wanted to surprise him. I readily agreed, mentally planning to make sure Bubba and I were both rested. I asked what I could bring, and Apple quickly told me that some cherries and strawberries would be appreciated. I promised I would bring lots and then reached into my pack and placed my sack of uneaten cherries on the ground. Bunches of fairies soon swooped down, scooping up the dark red fruit in their arms and carrying them off with a chorus of goodbyes and good wishes. Apple stayed with us until I had Bubba settled in the car and then flew off to join the others, leaving behind a fragrant trail of aquamarine dust.

Oh My! A fairy party! We’ve been invited to a fairy party, and it’s in Jack’s honour. I’m so excited that it’s going to be hard to keep the secret from Bubba, but I will… somehow. Now, what does one wear to such an event?

 

All the Pretty Little Flowers 4: The Residents

Now we’ve talked a lot about how important wildflowers are in general for all kinds of lovely critters, so here they are.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Teensy tiny bees. The flower has at most a diameter of 15-20 mm. The bee is the size of my pinky finger nail.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

A very fat fly. Probably one of those that try to eat us alive.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

This one dressed all up for the occasion.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Yes, there’s also spiders.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

And pretty birds ;)

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

Ahem… (singing) Just me and my Shadow, walking down the avenue (not the old, but the new).

Jack wanted to stop for a rest today, and it seemed the perfect time to snap a pic of our footwear.  Jack is sporting his usual handsome greying toes, and I am wearing my feelings on my feet instead of my sleeve.

A Wee Bit of Bee Butt

Story and pictures by Avalus

I noticed earth-bees emerging and vanishing between two stone plates in the paveway in the garden, so I crouched down and waited for the next bee to come out. But the inhabitants were not that sure about the sudden appearance of a strange black block in front of their door and so cautiously just poked their heads out only to retreat again. (first picture and the detail cut out, with a head of a bee eying me suspiciously visible) Then after five minutes or so one of them had enough of the paparazzi, moved out and took off just as I moved in a more comfortable position and so I nearly missed her. As you can see, I just captured her butt :D.

photo 1 ©Avalus, all rights reserved

Photo 1 (detail) ©Avalus, all rights reserved

Photo 2 ©Avalus, all rights reserved

Photo 3 ©Avalus, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

A Small Collection of Winged Things

More fabulous photos from Avalus.

First two different hoverflies, then a wasp, cleaning herself, then an older bee, a different kind of bee, and a damselfly.

©Avalus, all rights reserved

©Avalus, all rights reserved

©Avalus, all rights reserved

©Avalus, all rights reserved

©Avalus, all rights reserved

©Avalus, all rights reserved

©Avalus, all rights reserved

Jack’s Walk

A mayapple masquerading as the sun. ©voyager, all rights reserved

I’m confused. I posted a Jack’s Walk yesterday (July 8/20) that has disappeared. I’m sure it was published, and I’m pretty sure that Jazzlet made a comment, but it’s all gone, and I can’t find it anywhere. It was about Bubba getting older, and this photo topped it. Did anyone see it, or was I just dreaming? It shows up in my stats for yesterday, but when I try to open it, all I get is error 404 – not found. It isn’t in drafts or under my published articles, and I don’t have my rough copy any longer. It’s all very strange, and I have no idea how to get it back.

No matter, really. It was just me trying to say hello and explain that Jack and I are having fewer adventures because it’s been bloody hot, and Jack’s activity tolerance is low. What I wanted to say but didn’t is that I’ve been reluctant to write this column because it seems silly when I look at the state of the world. I should be writing about racism, police violence, the rise of fascism, the pandemic or a host of other important issues, but anything I say would only be opinion. There are many talented writers here at Freethought Blogs who understand the issues so much better than me and write brilliantly about them. I feel honoured to be among them but suffer from a bit of imposter syndrome.

When I joined Caine’s team in 2016, my goals were simple – help a friend and share my love of nature and dogs. After Caine died, it also became essential to me to hold together the community she created and to keep her legacy alive. That is still my focus, and I’ve been thinking that perhaps a bit of happy patter might be welcome for a few readers who want a quick respite from the weight of the world. So, silly or not, Jack and I will continue to share our small adventures and hope that they don’t disappear again.

Bubba says hi and wants me to tell you that “it’s the heat, not my age that has me slowed down.” I hope he’s right because he’s my bubbly, bubbly Bubbs.

Jack’s Walk

A mayapple masquerading as the sun. ©voyager, all rights reserved

Well, hello there. It’s been a while since Jack and I were here, and we hope you’ve all been keeping well. I don’t know about the weather where you are, but ours has been hellishly hot and dry. It’s been difficult for Jack to get exercise because he still has a lot of hair to shed, despite daily brushing and he overheats quickly. Mostly, though, he’s just getting old. My Bubba is 12 now, and this summer, for the first time, I see the weight of those years hanging on him. He’s slower, fatigues quickly, and he’s lost his delightful prancing gait.

Despite the physical changes, Jack’s attitude remains cheerful, and he still wants to play and go for adventures. I’ve been worried, though, that he couldn’t make it all the way around any of our trials, so we’ve been taking shorter walks just around the block. This helps meet Jack’s physical needs, but not his emotional ones, so this morning I got up at the crack of dawn, fed Jack, packed a large thermos of water and a smaller one of coffee, grabbed my camera and keys and took the boy out to Trillium Woods. That’s a 1 km looped trail with several benches along the path, and it’s Jack’s favourite walk. The entire route is shaded by giant trees, and I crossed my fingers that Bubba could make it from bench to bench and back to the car, and he did! We went slowly and took water at each bench stop, but Jack really struggled to make it up the hill at the end of the trail. We stopped twice for him to catch his breath, and I was getting concerned that bringing him was a bad idea, but one plodding foot after another, Jack finally made it to the top where he beamed with happiness and contentment. Next time, we’ll walk in the other direction, which puts the hilly section at the beginning of the walk, instead of the end. For now, Jack is blissfully sleeping, and I feel like the luckiest mommy in the world because I get to be his mommy.