Jack’s Walk

Millenial Trail, ©voyager, all rights reserved

I’m sorry that Jack’s Walk didn’t get posted yesterday. It was one of those days. The day began suddenly when a painter, painting in my friend V’s living room, fell 5 feet from a ladder while holding a gallon of white paint. V and I were both still sleeping soundly when it happened, but the sudden crash and cries of pain woke us both bolt upright right away. The fellow was already up and trying to mop up, but his forearm was lacerated and there was blood. And paint. Everywhere. My first thought was actually “Wow! That’s just like in cartoons!” and I had to stifle a nervous giggle. My next thought was “Oh, shit. Where’s the cat?” and finally, when I’d taken in the whole scene, it occurred to me that I’m trained in first aid and should be doing something more useful than standing there gaping. It was just so spectacular to see. Probably a once in a lifetime thing to see. I wish I  had pictures, but it didn’t even occur to me to take one. We sent the painter home with an icepack and encouragement to see a Dr. and then began the tedious chore of wiping up white paint spots from literally every surface in the room. The small spots dried quickly and required some scraping and the large spots just schmeared and made more of a mess. By the time I looked at my watch it was 12 o’clock and I had a 12:30 train to catch. The rest of the story is familiar to every weary traveler; hurry-up and wait. It’s about missed connections and not having a chance to eat. It’s about feeling grubby and irritable and wasted, but then finally it’s about being home. A Very Good Place to be.

Jack’s Walk

Properly tucked, ©voyager, all rights reserved

I’m away from home for the next few days staying with a friend whose mother just died. The funeral is tomorrow and I likely won’t be home until Friday so for the rest of the week Jack and I will be taking separate walks. That means that Jack’s Walk is a bit of a crap shoot this week. We’ll be here, but who knows what you’ll see. For today, I’ll give you a glimpse at how Jack relaxes after his evening walk. When he was young Jack was always hot, but this winter for the first time the boy has decided he likes blankets and the cozier the better. This is the blanket that Jack got for Christmas and he loves it. He makes a great big fuss trying to cover himself with it in the hope that mommy or daddy will come along and tuck him in properly. This is what properly tucked looks like.

Surrounded by Rocks: An Exploration Series, Chapter 4

It’s time for Nightjar’s next chapter.

Chapter 4 – East Hill: Fauna of the Present

We have reached the top of the East Hill and so has this weevil, which found the perfect place to sunbathe. There aren’t many insects around this time of the year (November), visiting in spring or summer would certainly be better for insect watching purposes.

©Nightjar, all rights reserved

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Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

Yesterday’s walk by the river was a little more challenging than I bargained for so today Jack and I chose an easier walk and went to our quiet little path in the forest. This spot is another of my happy places. Ive been coming here for 15 years, initially with our first dog Lucy and then adding Jack to our pack. I know every bend of the path, each tree and stump and if I close my eyes I can walk the entire path in my mind. I know where the trilliums grow and the special spots where the red trilliums hide. I’ve walked this path with only the light of the moon and my every sense was heightened, I know it in each season, the ebb and flow of green, white, yellow, orange and red. I’ve watched young trees grow strong and old trees grow weak and I grieved the year that 18 grandmother trees toppled together from the weight of ice. It’s familiar and a comfort and today it was a welcome break from being a voyageur.

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack and I put on our voyageur berets this morning and went hunting for beavers in the wetlands of Canada. The morning air was frosty and a constant westerly wind bit at our cheeks as it blew past us. Conditions on the ground were challenging with large muddy areas lightly covered by a wafer thin sheet of snow and ice that easily buckled under the weight of the dog. We picked our way upstream with me slipping and sliding and Jack looking anxiously over his shoulder to  make sure I was still upright. We didn’t get too far though when the route became     clogged with tangled brush and reeds that ultimately forced us to retrace our steps in retreat. I think we were getting close to the lodge in this area. We found several gnawed trees and a whole patch of gnawed off saplings. At first, I thought the sapling patch would lead straight to the den, but nope. The beavers haven’t set up shop here, but I think they’re close by. Maybe tomorrow we’ll try the other bank of the river to see if we can get farther.

Jack’s Walk

Well nested, ©voyager, all rights reserved

This tree sits at the crossroad of several paths and is obviously well-favoured by some type of smallish bird. Jack and I pass this way often, but we’ve never seen an actual bird here only the nests. Maybe the birds are tucked up inside or maybe they’re out searching for food or maybe they’ve gone to Florida and won’t return until spring. We’ll keep looking, but something tells me I won’t see birds here any time soon.

Jack’s Walk

Even my favorite resting spot seems uninviting today. ©voyager, all rights reserved

The warm, welcome sunshine of yesterday has given way to dark and gloomy skies today. It’s hard to tell what time it is outside because it always looks the same. There isn’t even any grainy  mist or fog to enhance the mood. It didn’t seem worth going back to the river because the ground is still muddy so Jack and I went exploring around the neighbourhood instead. I hope it gets colder soon (wow, I can’t believe I just said that!) because I think I know which direction the beaver den is, but I need firmer ground to get there. It’s winter. In Canada. It’s supposed to be cold.


The mark of the Eager Beaver, ©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack and I went down to the river today looking for beavers, but we didn’t have any luck. It was just too difficult to get off the path because the area is quite boggy right now. I fell 3 times (I’m dirty, but OK) before I finally decided to try again another day. We did see evidence of beavers, though, including this tree that some eager beaver started to gnaw and then abandoned. Maybe he’s coming back with a few friends to help. That looks like a mighty big tree for a single beaver to fell, even if it is an eager beaver.