Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Relaxing Walk Along the Lake

Today was a long day. I had lots of errands to do and running from place to place. The day was warm but the evening was cooling off quickly. It was approaching 7 o’clock and already getting dark. That was the one thing that I didn’t like about the fall in Maine.  I was glad to be home. Once I got all of the groceries put away I needed a few moments for myself. It was my time to unwind, time to find peace and enjoyment for a relaxing evening.
I gathered the kids up and headed out to the front yard. I was sitting in a camp chair breathing in the wonderful smells of the woods while they played happily on the swing set. My body began to relax and I could feel nature pulling the weight off of my shoulders.
I eagerly awaited the sound of my husband’s motorcycle. I had the 4 wheeler out of the garage and all ready to go. The kids were running, laughing and then fighting. These were the typical actions of brother and sister.
The air was so still tonight that I could hear the bubbling of the brook. It was only on very still nights that you can hear this. I could smell the dampness of the dirt and the rain in the air. The still before the storm I suppose.
There it was the low rumble of the four stroke engine flying down over the hill. I can always tell his speed by how the bike sounds. The rumble was louder tonight because of the still air.
I was already sitting on the wheeler when he drove into the driveway. As soon as he was off his bike I took off. He knew the routine it was nothing different to us. I loved my ½ hour escape.
I sped down the twisty dirt road. The dust swirled up behind me like in the Dukes of Hazard. I was excited to see what I would experience this time down on Graham Lake. I had heard that the damn had opened today and let more water out so the part of the lake that I like to visit had to be low tonight.
As I approached the water I slowed down a lot. I didn’t want to scare off any of the wild life that may be wondering around down there. I parked up on top of the bank and walked down to the beach. There was the first treat of the evening two cranes or storks as I like to call them standing knee deep in the mucky water. They paid no attention to me. I don’t think they even moved a muscle. Perhaps they liked seeing me down there as much I enjoyed seeing them.
I looked around and noticed the level of the water. It seemed to be further down than any other year. I looked over at the stump where I knew I had lost my good luck fishing lure and thought just maybe I would find it. I hurried over. I was eager to see if it was there. Only about 3 or 4 inches of water covered the ground surrounding the stump. I tried to walk out to it but by the amount of distance that I began to sink into the mud I decided that the fishing lure wasn’t that important.
As I backed up out of the mud I took my usual walk around the point. There were so many different animal prints it was hard to tell the path they took. Dog and/or coyote prints everywhere. It was interesting to try to examine them to see if you could tell by the size of the print how many different animals had been there. I was pretty sure that I could see three definite different paw sizes. I saw one straight line of deer tracks. They walked out of the woods and into the water. I never could see where it came back out and I wondered about this a lot. Had it swam across or maybe it was shallow enough for it to walk across. Can deer swim, I wondered?
As I continued along, the little sand peepers with their long beak scattered away in to the water’s edge. It seemed like they didn’t want to get wet but at the same time didn’t want to get near me. The sand peepers were kind of cute in a talk gangly type of way. The way they ran made me giggle out loud. Six ducks flew over. They flap their wings slow and hard and it looks like flying takes a lot of work. They were flying in a V like most ducks do. For the life of me I could not remember why it is that they do that.
When I reached the point I was looking for something specific. This was the main reason that I began to take this evening journey, every night. I looked up to the very tippy top of this huge pine tree. He wasn’t there. A remarkable attractive and confident Bald Eagle has it home there. He must be out fishing I thought because if he was up in that tree he would have flew out already. An amazingly beautiful flight I had seen so many times before.
At this time I noticed that the sun had fallen behind the tree line making it pretty dark fast. I loved this beach, but knew how many animals crossed the same path that I do and honestly didn’t want to find out like that, if they were dog or coyote paw prints. My walk back to the 4 wheeler was a lot faster that the walk in. I walked directly back, not even taken a second to look around at anything. I had a nervous feeling like something was watching me. I like to think that it was the bald eagle waiting for me to hurry along so that he could return to his nest to watch for his next meal.
I also road the 4 wheeler back slower, I felt refreshed and relaxed.  It was like nature had washed over my body and cleaned out any negativity. That right there is one of the reasons I am a country girl and love living in Maine!

1 comment:

  1. I can answer your question about deer. I was sitting in a canoe on a pond once, casting toward shore when a deer came crashing out of the woods about twenty yards away and into the pond (scaring away all the lunkers I was after.) And off he went, swimming like a dog with his head up, moving right along across the pond at the rate of an easy paddle! Bye!

    You're right to be scared of coyotes--they are not cuddly in any way.

    Now, on to the writing. I think this starts a little slow. You could probably drop grafs 1, 2, and 4 without losing much and gaining a quicker giddy-up. After that, I don't believe you put a foot wrong: there's a nicely balanced mix of nature and Stacey, of observation and thoughts about what's observed, of place and person, of pictures' and your actions (a mini-narrative) within the pictures.