Monday, October 22, 2012


My wife and I went for a walk this evening, taking advantage of the near perfect weather here in the Atlanta area. Our neighborhood is great for strolling. We have enough elevation to get a workout, and the neighbors always wave, and speak when the opportunity is there.

We look our 1+ year old playful puppy, and after a conspicuous start with him barking at the squirrels and one neighbor, he tired out and decided to walk. He weights ten pounds or so, but he can pull us along, going up a hill. I would love to have his energy.

At the end of the subdivision we reached the heavily traveled road, which normally means we turn around and head back to the house. We live at the far end of the subdivision, so it's a nice walk to this point and back. This time we decided to walk across the main road and take in a little more of the pleasant weather, so we crossed the road and walked down the sidewalk a short ways, and entered the cemetery.

The afternoon light was dwindling, and it had that nice soft touch that puts everything on an even keel. Nice portrait lighting, despite the background. As we strolled toward the back of the cemetery my wife pointed to something to our left. She thought it was some kind of animal, and she saw it move, but wondered why it was staying in one place. From a distance I figured it was a rabbit.

We turned left toward the animal and just past the last of the gravestones we entered a field, and I walked over for a closer look. I think we found further evidence of the coyotes I have heard across the street from our house. The object was a ribcage, with most of the spine still intact. It was picked clean, and the ribs were still brown. They weren't bleached out yet. As I looked to my left I saw two more clumps. One was picked clean, and it contained a leg bone with a hoof and the section was covered on fur. The third section was another leg. Must have been a pack of coyotes that caught a young fawn out in the filed grazing. The sections were spread out over forty yards.

As we left the remains and walked on through the field to a dirt road that is not well traveled, my wife started having sharp pains on her leg. We soon discovered we had gone through a patch of cockleburs, and the dog had not escaped either. Poor thing. We picked them out of his fur, and I got them off my wife's socks and shoes.

Not sure why my wife thought she saw the ribcage move, but it seemed a fitting place to find it, right at the edge of a graveyard. And just before Halloween no less.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Stroll Through the Woods

Went walking at lunch today on a favorite spot, in Suwanee, Ga. It's a nice three miler that takes an hour and sometimes a little change, with some elevation changes, but not a lot. It's a good place to go refresh your mind.

This was my first walk there in a while. I haven't walked at all in the past week plus after my hiking trip in the Smokies. I had to allow my feet to heal. But today the temps were perfect, and the skies clear. Temps in the 60's.

Heavy rains ended a day and a half earlier, and the ground was still completely saturated. I walked a short distance to the beginning of the soft trail through the woods, which goes for 2/3 mile, and after I went down to lower elevations along the river the smell was overwhelming. It reminded me of a wet dog, fresh out of the tub. To my right everything was soaked and muddy from the flooding caused by 4-5 inches of rain. Parts of the trail had been underwater during the rains, as evidenced by the wash across the trail. And further down, after I reached the paved portion and later walked across the wood boardwalks across the swamp iI saw that much of this had been underwater as well, from the mud washed over and the lack of leaves on the trail. At higher elevations the trail had a nice layer of fallen leaves.

A few hints of the changing seasons dotted the trails, with colors starting to peek out. Anticipation.

Three hours after my walk finished I had a green inchworm on my collar, having been caught out. A reminder of the day. Nothing like a stroll through the woods the unclutter the mind.

The Common Good

My dreams are always disjointed and in specific scenes. My mind sees everything as a stage performance or some other entertainment medium, not as real life with lots of mundane details thrown in for good measure. I like the interesting filler material during normal waking hours, but it’s just as well I pass over it when sleeping; there is nothing worse than waking up just before a dream ends, so let’s skip over the unnecessary details and get this dream finished up. Sometimes I remember enough details to put together a storyline, if I transcribe my notes soon enough. My dreams fade into distant memory much quicker than my memories I create during waking hours. With that as an intro, here are the “minutes” of a dream I had overnight 10/1/2012 that I find interesting. Something in my life must have prompted this. I can think of several things, and it could be a melting together of different issues. Here is the dream:

I was on some type of outing or vacation, not necessarily a pleasure trip, but I recall beautiful colors in the sky in several scenes. Sunrise or sunset, I don’t know. Nature was a constant, and I observed everything from a ground level structure that was fully enclosed and protected from the dangers outside. A field with high grass, brownish, like un-harvested hay, stood at an even level in the foreground, reaching out as far as my dream allowed me to take notice.

A bear and a tiger grappled in front of me, and I zoomed in for a closer look, but I remained in the shelter. The zoom lens embedded in my brain was at work. Both animals were partially hidden in the tall grass, like a well staged scene, intended to keep the view easy to watch. As I observed from my comfortable place in the wilderness, the two were fighting to the death. First I saw the bear winning, biting and shaking his head violently, with hair and flesh in his mouth, ripping at the tiger, then the fight turned and the tiger was inflicting the same damage to the bear. Later I looked out and at first glance it appeared the bear was winning. I saw him on the top of the heap, ripping flesh loose from its combatant, nearing an irreversible victory, and I then realized the two had joined together, and the bear and tiger were destroying the symbolic king of the animal kingdom, a lion.

Working together can perform miracles, but strife neutralizes a strong, powerful body. The enemy watches and smiles, waiting until both sides are weak before pouncing upon the weak, easy target. I can think of so many applications of this principle. Employees that prove themselves unable to make positive changes because of bickering among one another, religious organizations that fragment over ideals and power struggles, political parties that should work for a common good, etc. The list goes on. A united enemy only needs to sit and wait. Their time will come. And the defense will be negligible after enough time has passed.