Saturday, October 30, 2010

Magpies, Goose Eggs and the Headless Horseman

It is no longer safe around our house. You have to beware of the hulking dark shapes in the woods. I wouldn't want to be curb stomped by an angry momma moose! With that in mind I went for a late afternoon hike instead at Palisades Park. The light drizzling rain enhanced all the woodsy, decaying leaf smells.

As I approached the road crossing I was surprised by a burst of black and white from the trees and I counted at least 60 congregating magpies. They weren't as loud and obnoxious as they usually are so they must have been getting ready to roost. Or maybe they know what is in store for them the next few months, weather-wise. About the same time I spotted a large empty egg on the ground. It was white and I figured that it had to be a goose egg. Since it is so late in the season maybe someone near here raises geese. I guess it is possible that the magpies robbed Canada geese nests earlier in the year and the empty shell survived the dry summer months. I have often observed magpies stealing eggs from robin nests. Regardless of how it came to be there I soon spotted a second one and know it has to be the work of those crafty thieves.

About half way through my 4 mile hike I took a short rest at the base of the basaltic cliff that is the main feature of this park formally known as Rimrock. This undeveloped and relatively undiscovered park is a real treat. It overlooks the city of Spokane and the view at sunset from the top can be stunning. There are miles of trails and it is a great place to wander on foot, mountain bike or by horseback. I found myself thinking that if this area existed where I grew up, in flat-as-a-pancake Western New York, it would be a full State Park. It would be treasured and likely loved to death.

As I walked through the fading light of deepest dusk and through weeds higher than my head my memories were stirred about similar walks in my teen years in the fields near my house. Then I started thinking of earlier memories like the scary Halloween witch and caldron while out trick or treating when I was really little. That really scared me as a child (around age 4 or 5) and made me chuckle today. The headless horseman then made an appearance in my minds eye as well. Wouldn't that be a great costume to re-create? You would have to scare people from a distance so that you didn't run over anybody....hmmm, like at dusk at the far edge of a U-pick pumpkin patch! You would have to practice a very loud maniacal scream!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Song Stuck in My Head

"In the morning when you rise,
Do you open up your eyes, see what I see?
Do you see the same things every day?
Do you think of a way to start the day?
Getting things in proportion?
Spread the news & help the world go 'round.
Have you heard of a time that will help us get it together again?
Have you heard of the word that will stop us going wrong?
Well, the time is near & the word you'll hear
When you get things in perspective.
Spread the news & help the word go round.

There's a time and the time is now & it's right for me,
It's right for me, and the time is now.
There's a word & and the word is love & it's right for me,
It's right for me, and the word is love."

----YES (from the song "Time and a Word")