Fantasyland just down the road

Red-spotted Purple ButterflyThe woods are lovely, dark and deep.  That line has rolled around in my ear for days, though my calendar is nearing summer and Robert Frost wrote “Snowy Evening” about a woods filling with snow.

[pullquote]the floor is carpeted with last year’s leaves and this year’s ferns[/pullquote]Butterflies, small ones, like miniature Emperor Moths only drab-hued, flitter around clover blossoms. Higher in the trees, a flicker of yellow catches my eye, and is gone. I would like to believe it was a Monarch, because they are becoming scarce, but I didn’t see it well enough.

Closer in, and on or near the ground, several Red Spotted purple butterflies, so called because they are purple, mostly, with red spots among white accent marks, search the duff for goodies. They seem afraid of heights; I rarely see them higher than a few feet. Mostly, they seem to favor the edges of dirt roads and, at the lake, open pebbly beach areas with tall-grass surrounds. Continue reading Fantasyland just down the road

Me, the forest and Grady the Golden

Grady the Golden Retreiver drinks from the creekOne of the many things I’ve learned is a truly good wandering companion cannot be bought. I have tried, and none have worked out. On he other hand, there have been three …

I met Dutch at a friend’s house on Adak, an island about halfway out the Aleutian Islands chain. One day, Dutch – a Yellow Lab and Irish Setter mix – wanted to go home with me. It turned out my friend was leaving the island, and Dutch could not accompany him.

The situation repeated two years later, when it was my turn to depart, but in those 24 months, Dutch and I were nearly inseparable. We wandered the tundra, and when I would go to the store he waited outside – allowing passers-by to stop and pet him, but never leaving his place by the door.

Continue reading Me, the forest and Grady the Golden