I’m sorry it’s been so long since my last correspondence. Our days are still a bit discombobulated due to two tumultuous years here for my people and our Wonder Garden. First mom was gone, then my person’s puppy moved in with us. (And on some days, my person’s puppy’s puppies would come over, too, and stay overnight sometimes, like the night they slept in the tent in the yard.)
Earlier this year, the best thing happened! My person stopped leaving for whole, long days to go to that “worky” thing he spent so much time at. I don’t know why he didn’t think of this sooner. I’m here, Doone The Cat is here, and our food is here, so why would you need to go anywhere else? Well, except sometimes when he goes to “The Trading Post”, ’cause he brings home snacks and other grub, but that usually doesn’t take very long. He’s usually home before I even think about worrying he won’t come back.
Now he’s here almost all the time and I can spend the entire day outside in the fresh air, on the cool grass, napping or keeping watch. We take nice long hikes at all times of the day. Today it was just after sunrise, so we could enjoy the cool morning before the late summer heat drives us to our water dishes and the shade of the big trees. He watches every sunset with me, and afterward we go to the south lawn, and he sits on the steps listening to The Lone Ranger radio shows until it’s too dark to see when we come into the house. Occasionally he’ll go somewhere and say “Be a good puppy while I’m gone. I’ll be back after a while.”, but not too often, and never for too long.
Then another thing happened this summer! His puppy found his own doghouse, as is the wont of adult dogs, and now it’s just the three of us! Wow! Let the spoiling begin! The cat looks like she’s gained ten ounces, and I myself must exercise restraint to keep from over-indulging in the plenty laid before us. It also seems more quiet now that it’s just us. My person doesn’t turn on the TV very much. On Big Saturday he makes it a point to see two things he calls Stooges and Svengoolie, but the rest of the time it’s quiet. Well, except when he plays those awful drums. Or the shiny guitar. Or the plastic piano.
So the past couple of weeks I’ve seen and heard some flocks of geese flying around over Maggie’s pond next door. Probably some up by that pond where we go biking, too. The sunsets each day are a little further south, and the nights are getting cool. All these things tell me our trial is drawing to a close soon, and all of this terrible summer business will be behind us. This hasn’t been the most challenging summer. I’ve seen hotter. But I’ll tell you what was off the charts this year, and that was angry clouds!
Holy smokes! Some days they’d all get amassed together, shutting off the sun. They’d bring some of the biggest bruisers you ever saw, too, and mean-looking. I don’t know if it’s mating season and they’re fighting to show off, or if it’s a territorial thing or maybe they get crazy from the heat like people do sometimes. First they flash their big flashlights like a warning so you know it’s coming and boy do you know it’s coming, and the wind picks up and then “BANG- Grrrrrrrrrrrr! Hgrrrrrrr!” they have the longest bark-growl thing of any bark-growl thing I’ve ever heard and loud? You want to get under the end table for this ’cause it shakes our old house and the windowpanes rattle and you can feel the grumbling in the ground, that’s how loud it is. Loud? You haven’t heard loud ’til you hear this! Even that awful drum could never dream of being this loud. It’s like a nillilion drums or something that means a lot of them, you know? Well, luckily there have been only a few really big battles this summer, and now that things are cooling down perhaps the clouds will be in better humors.
I’m glad we’re heading into fall. Mostly ’cause it leads to winter, and but also ’cause I like fall, too. The leaves start to come off the trees in fall, remember? They smell great, but they make stalking game in the Wonder Woods impossible with all their racket. My person purposely kicks at them and cries “Wee!”, and so that doesn’t help either. But a great thing about leaf-off is that we can see a lot farther in a lot of directions because we don’t have all those trees blocking our view from the top of Nishan Hill or even on the trails. Unless we’re in the pine stands ’cause the leaves don’t fall off the pine trees. Well, they do, but in a different way. It’s like pine trees are a lot different from the…the other kind that has their leaves fall off. It’s like they decide to take their leaves off for the winter, or like shedding I guess.
I must confess there are a few things about summer that I enjoy. I like that my person isn’t always in a rush to get the doors closed when I go in and out. I like that all the windows of the house are open, so I can smell what’s going on around me when I’m stuck inside. I like that I’m not stuck inside much! Sometimes in winter, even I like to get warmed up. And sometimes my person makes me come in and says “It’s not a fit night out for man or beast!”
This year I’ve taken a fancy to the hummingbirds. The first time I heard one, I thought it was a giant bee, but once you’ve heard one you recognize it right away after that. We have Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds here, and they come to the feeder at the kitchen window constantly. There must be a whole litter that lives nearby, and by now we see two or three at a time. They’re pretty, they hover cool, they have an aesthetically pleasing long snout, like canines. And they are feisty! These little guys are not cowards, but ruffians. They’ll buzz each other on the feeder and chase each other around like fighter planes! One little guy is the most courageous and defensive, with attitude, and won’t give up his perch at the feeder for anyone! They can buzz him and he sticks his snout out like a sword and says “Bring it on! You want a piece of this? Hah?” or at least he looks like he’s saying that. With a Brooklyn accent. Yeah, I’ll miss them. But I know they’ll be back next year.
Right now I’m getting ready to enjoy the fall. Winter can’t come soon enough for me. But like the freedom, fresh air and hummingbirds of summer, there are a few things I like about fall, too. Who could pass up a nap in a leafpile?
Wag more, bark less.