Good day my friends… Welcome back to Marmie’s Empty Nest.
I have missed you all.
I am so happy you have returned for another visit, because you are going to be treated to another guest blogger today!
I’d like to introduce a really interesting and insightful woman that I have come to know. She is intuitive, encouraging, wise and kind. Her writings are upbeat and interesting, this woman is a real out-doorsey woman. She hunts and fishes and travels freely like a lone wolf at times. I love her flair, her honesty and the stories she shares with me.
So I thought I would share with you the delight of a day in the life of Raven Wing, and the beauty and wonderment she witnesses daily, just out side her door.
Welcome to Raven Wing and thank you for being my guest blogger this week!
Today I took a hike up “my” mountain. I just walk out the door, over the un-lawn, past the veggie garden, climb through one loose three-strand barbwire fence, then through the gate on the good, 4-strand, outside fence. And then I step into federally designated wilderness.
It’s about 2PM on an October day and the sky is clear, cornflower blue, with a few wispy white clouds. There is a light breeze and the temperature is that perfectly warm 70-something Fahrenheit, but it feels HOT when standing in this intense desert sun.
On my hikes I never know exactly where I will go on the mountain and certainly not what I might see or find on these hikes. I just head UP! The possibilities are endless. The only limitations are daylight, my energy level, and the drinking water I carry.
Today the native grasses are dried to an autumn gold and glisten in the sunlight. Slowly making my way uphill, I am surprised by plants I had forgotten. The fall-blooming buckwheat with its tiny pink flowers delights me. New sprouts of vivid green are scattered here and there, evidence of the rains we had the week before and the cooler temperatures. I spot some chokecherry bushes in a little draw and make plans to take cuttings off them in the spring, to plant in my orchard. Some of the rabbitbrush twigs, the flowers past bloom, are pretty enough to use indoors, IF the seed heads will stay on. Worth experimenting with.
On this hike I see a herd of 25 pronghorn antelope. They rush in one direction, then stop, then rush off in another direction. They remind me of a flock of birds, how they all change direction together, in the wink of an eye.
As I work my way up in elevation, I remember places and events from past hikes: that little gully over there has the rocks that are almost, but not quite, tiger’s-eye; there’s where the coyote mom sent her red pup running away from the den, to hide from me. I saw her golden eyes peering at me from under the rimrock; sometimes there are chukar partridge in that drainage over there, the one with the BIG juniper tree and the boulder the size of my pickup; along that ridge there, I sometimes find arrowheads.
And so my mind wanders, as do my feet.
I look uphill and see the ridge that is as high as I have ever been on the mountain, and below it is the patch of willows where Mark and I came through, hunting for chukar with his old dog. I need to go back to that same area and look around again. There were some flakes of obsidian laying on the ground, that day we walked through.
And I really, really want to get up into that drainage above, where I have never been before. It’s gonna be a tough hike, UP. The gully has steep sides and big boulders and lots of green. Who knows what I might find up there! Several years ago, somewhere near there, I surprised bighorn sheep one day.
I hike uphill for an hour, then take my time coming back down. On the way back down I find a few small rocks to take home but leave most to their quiet life on the mountain. There are piles of them already living in and around my Abode. Today I examine sparkly crystals, cubic calcite, and lumpy, translucent chalcedony. On every hike I look for high quality jasper, but haven’t found much. Headed home, I break off some dried flower stalks to add to my interior décor.
The cows have made the hiking on the way down, difficult. Cow cobbles I call them. Divots, where their huge, heavy hooves sank into soft soil which later dried into concrete- like consistency. Those holes are ankle twisters. I take it easy until I get to smoother ground.
It takes me half the time to get back down the mountain as it did to get up it.
And now I sit here writing this, gazing out at where I was. It’s just my backyard – one giant playground.
ã2011 Raven Wing