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Two weeks ago, took a walk on a cool sunny June day. Kiddo came along, and we wended our way through trees, across small streams, waving summer grasses and flowers. I wore a yellow/orange LLBean anorak of my daughter’s, most would call the color ‘school bus yellow’, but I think its color was described as ‘alpine flower’ or something like that by LLBean marketing.
I describe the color, because I like it, but also because it seemed to attract butterflies. Maybe I looked like a giant flower to them, and they came towards me to unfurl their proboscis and drink deeply. Most would notice immediately that I wasn’t a flower and skitter away quickly. One yellow tigerstripe swallowtail butterfly didn’t notice immediately. She landed on my shoulder (so pretty!) and then, startled, flew up and away. She ascended towards the tree tops and I called out ‘thank you! You’re beautiful!’ Kept walking, and I’ll be darned if that same butterfly, after flying up towards the trees, didn’t flutter back down to the top of my head! She fluttered around the very top of my head 3 times! How cool was that?
I felt like I’d been crowned or blessed or connected with something special. Just for a second, but it lifted my spirits and I saw her flutter along for a bit more, and disappear. Nature is magical.

a nice day in Maine (Lima puke and bobbity) www.zerotohero.wordpress.com

today was beautiful! Sunny, ‘warm’ – the wind blew, but it was not icy; the temperature was 49 when I woke up; soon got to the 60s. I walked/trained the dogs, took Arlo to the greenhouse, brought the ‘almost old enough chicks’ outside in an old wire dog crate–soon, they’ll take their smelly selves to the henhouse. The younger chicks (about 2 & half weeks) are still in their plastic storage container, contentedly sleeping on/off all day long, under the reptile heat lamp… Geneva and I walked after she got home from school, went over the bridge to Verona Island, saw the osprey pair, on their nest. They took turns flying out over the penobscot looking for food. They were low enough that we could see their feet. Guessing they have chicks now, since they so diligently flew out and back, out and back. We also saw a cormorant fly over, and some ducks. The great blue herons are here, too, near where my house is. I’ve spotted them other years, during wet springs, just before they took off from my woods…they make a ‘graaaak’ kind of noise, before they take off (at least that day they did) This morning, Arlo was anxious to go outside, he has been talking about the ‘pretty flowers’ and saying ‘thank you’ to the outside birds when they fly to the feeders….I wonder if he is referring to the goldfinches when he remarks about the ‘pretty flowers’? Especially, when he says ‘thank you’. Anyway, he saw that we were leaving the house without taking him/he became agitated and started demanding stuff….’I want some Lima Puke’ was one of his demands….was sad to tell him I didn’t have any, but I did have some ‘bobbity’ (his name for grain/veggie/fruit mush I make him…

walk in the woods/ ‘spring’ in Maine—

today I took 3 of my dogs across the road into the woods, on a typical morning walk.

I love walking there in fall & winter;  before and after the main part of hunting season is done and most of the hunters are satisfied with what they did/didn’t bag, and don’t want to bother anymore for the season. I love walking there because it is the woods, get to see lots of nature and have some peace and quiet, plus, I dont put leashes on them.  No one else usually walks in the woods in winter in this area (unless it’s to hunt, I guess)  Sometimes I take all 6 dogs at once, if my friend comes with me.  Usually, though, it’s 3 the first walk out and then 3 the next.  Sometimes this winter I’ve snowshoed.  Sometimes the snow was too powdery, or something, to really work for the shoes, made it more work, instead of easier.  The dogs walk along happily, get more exercise, I think, than if I leash them and walk straight up and down the road, with cars whizzing by me.

I especially love it when the paths are groomed by the snowmobilers.  Better than walking on a boulevard in some fancy city- wide, smoothed out, beautiful trees as tall as skyscrapers!  The skies can be blue or grey or cloudy- the trees, after the icestorms looked like some beautiful crystal jewels hung on the branches, and they were bowed over, top heavy birches, and even the different pine branches hung down low enough to limbo under.

This morning, we entered the trees, and it seemed a bit quieter than normal.  Last few days, I’ve seen some bear scat and some scrape marks that certainly dont look like dog toenails.   Always watch the dog’s reactions, too, and note if anything seems amiss to them.   We wandered down a path, the snow is really hard packed by now (hey, it’s ‘spring!’) and I noticed something scurrying up a tree. Couldn’t tell what it was- too far from me/just assumed it was a squirrel, bunch of trees in line of vision, anyway.

Suddenly, the dogs all began barking! Usually if there is something to chase, they’ll just do, and I call them back. ) This time, no chase, just loud raucus barking.  Shushed them, ‘no bark!’ they were silent for a moment until we came to that tree  I saw the scurrying action….Then again, they barked, looking upward at the tree top….surprised, I looked up- at a bear, peering out through a clump of pine branches…   Didn’t have the presence of mind to snap a pic on my phone, nor to figure out how big or small; thinking it was a smaller bear. Did know that if it was a young bear, then the mama might be near, and if it were the mama, the babies might be near…… we turned and walked away (or, I walked- the loving protective hounds all dashed ahead of me, returning to me now and then, as if to say ‘hurry up! you still lagging behind?’) on a very long walk back to the road, where I would feel a bit safer.