In Which We Spend an Autumn Day in Sproul
My husband and I have been chasing the foliage colors for weeks and weeks now. It has been a thing we have always enjoyed together: the amazing color show in the Pennsylvania woods each October.
In the olden days, I'd take as much vacation time as I could in October. Now that I'm retired, all the days belong to me, and we go where we want, do what we want, whenever we want. What a life! But it's November, and the colors are leaving us now. I know this is how it goes, the natural order of things, but letting go of the colors is so darn hard.
Another gorgeous day was on tap and we headed to the woods of Sproul. We walked back in to the little pond first, but it is nearly dry. We are in need of rain. There are deer tracks all along the edges of what's left, as the animals came in to drink. As we sat there watching, a huge blue jay showed up and had a few sips.
Then we came down to the campsite we call Pine Glen, and that's where we spent the rest of the day, sitting in the sun, reading our books, listening to good music. And dancing. For I cannot be stopped from dancing!
When we camp here, we usually set up our gear off to the left, outside of this shot. In fact, if I spun to my left about 45 degrees, this would usually be my view: his and hers tents in our Sproul campsite, with our backpacks nearby. But no tents or backpacks accompanied us on this day; just our chairs and our daysacks.
The last time we were here, there was such a hullaballoo. A bunch of coyotes had an elk cornered and were trying to hound it to death, VERY close to camp. I believe, based on the sounds we heard that night (for we never SAW any of them), that the elk made it away safely, and that the coyotes followed.
You may recall that I stood at the ready with my trusty Boker picnic set, in particular the knife, prepared, if necessary, to defend kith and kin! Do not MESS with me. For I may be but little, but I am FIERCE. And a personal motto is this: speak peace, and try to live in peace, but tolerate no bullsh*t!!!! (And that includes from those who may want to EAT you.)
I did, in fact, find one bone, though, not far from our camp. I brought it into the campsite and we took a few pictures of it: with Tiny Tiger above it and Alex the Alligator below it, it looked like a fraction. What is the numerical value of a Tiger divided by an Alligator? Hmm. I left the bone there so it can entertain us further on our next visit. (What can I say? Perhaps we are easily amused. I love to find and photograph old bones.)
But I can tell you that as the shadows began to lengthen, I was dancing. We put on some of our favorite camping-out songs, even though we weren't staying. REO Speedwagon with Riding the Storm Out. Thin Lizzy, with Whiskey in the Jar. Brooks and Dunn, with My Heart Is Lost to You. And then it was the Doors, with L.A. Woman. L! A! Ummm, yeah!!!
How wonderful to bring music into the woods; it always makes me feel like we are Redford and Streep, camping out with the Limoges china in the midst of Africa, playing the phonograph for the animals for the first time.
There were no wild animal attacks on this day, though we were beset by keds. A deer ked is a little creature that looks sort of like a tick. It has six legs, and wings that fall off quite easily if you even LOOK at one sideways, let alone touch it.
I pulled several keds off me and ended up taking one home in my hair, where it wandered around and feasted on me, until I finally got my hair brush at home and chased it out - using a hand mirror and the main bathroom mirror, I spotted the creature strolling down my neck, and caught and killed it.
Forget Paris! As it turns out, in the woods of Sproul, apparently, *I* am what Hemingway would call a moveable feast! But despite my having been bitten, it was a very good day!
I'll skip any songs about being bitten, and let my song be one of the ones I danced to joyously, before I knew about the ked stowaway in my hair. Here are Brooks & Dunn, and I dedicate this song to the really cute guy who sat beside me in the sun: My Heart Is Lost to You.
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