E.M.’s RWP- Discovery at Dusk

Today’s Random Word is: zipline

It was dusk and Gloria’s first camping experience was about to get ‘real’.
As I sat beside the campfire, the last pink wisps of light slipped beyond the distant hills. Gloria had been a ‘good sport’ all day. She’d helped carry firewood from the neatly stacked pile even though I warned her to watch for snakes beneath the tarp before she reached in. After a shudder, she asked me to look first and trusted my “all clear” prompt enough to help. Everything I took for granted she found foreign and frightening, yet she persevered.
The evening was warm, and still, so mosquitos lifted from the damp woods on either side of our open area. After lathering herself with bug repellent and dressing up in sweats, boots, and a broadbrimmed hat, Gloria plopped into the folding chair beside me.
She grinned as I handed her a coffee, “This isn’t so bad. I think I could get used to this ‘nature stuff’.”
Out of nowhere, several shadows dipped through the clearing as if on a zipline from one side to the other. Gloria froze until one came close enough to knock off her hat!
The screech she released must have been heard in the next county. Then she rose waving her arms, spilling her coffee in her lap and raced for the tent.
“WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!”, she howled from her ‘bunker’.
With coffee spilling from my nose because of my unrestrainable laughter, I could only squeak, “A bat.”
“A bat?! Those things are DANGEROUS! I’ll get rabies then you won’t be laughing!”
Once I was able to compose myself. I crawled into the tent and explained a few things about the truth of bats. I told her that they were just feeding on the bugs and were expert flyers. That they weren’t attacking her, and she wouldn’t get rabies.
It took a while, but Gloria came back to the campfire. She sat slumped (trying not to be a target) and watched the fine aerobatics of the bats with her mouth agape.
After we returned from our adventure, Gloria researched bats and became an advocate for them telling anyone who’d listen about them.
She started our trip as a ‘good sport’ and ended it as a ‘Good Samaritan’.


Here’s more on bats. They’re terribly misunderstood and fascinating, helpful, creatures.
https://blog.nwf.org/2013/10/10-reasons-you-should-love-bats/

https://emkingston.wordpress.com/2022/04/18/e-m-s-rwp-138-zipline/

Friday Fictioneers 10-1-21~ Critical Surroundings


PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Upon exiting the pitch-black darkened forest, an odd edifice leapt into our view.
A welcomed reprieve, was the fading daylight, from our haunted disoriented wandering. It felt like the relief from removing of a blindfold.
The vacant manicured grounds shouted, “TRESSPASSERS!”.
Desperate to get back to camp, we left a note, and borrowed a small rowboat docked on the lake beyond.
The boat complained, “THIEVES!”
The lights of the campground grew brighter as we approached the opposite shore.
We looked at each other feeling foolish about forgetting our flashlights.
At last, the full moon rose and uttered, “Follow me, MORONS!”.

(100 words)
https://rochellewisoff.com/2021/09/29/1-october-2021/

FOR MORE STORIES by others USING THIS PHOTO PROMPT< Click the link below.
https://fresh.inlinkz.com/party/f1d4dd53d398482ca2393cff62b3857b




Weekly Smile 5/3/21- Out and In

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Frogs doing their thing.
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Our forest retreat.
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Dogs just being ‘dawgs’.
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Spring run off cutting through.

One part of my weekend was spent working at our forest campsite. I trimmed raspberry bushes and found our Concord grapes budding nicely.
The dogs got to sniff around and get exercise and we stood around planning our chores for next week.
Spending entire weekends will happen in the near future.

Then it rained.
Once I returned home,
I baked a couple of apple pies. One for my sister (who’ll be having open heart surgery this Thursday) and one for an elderly lady next door who has been having health concerns. Her family has been in and out a lot so I thought a nice treat would brighten their day.
Making those pies offered me my Weekly Smile.
My indoor activity turned out to win the day.
The joy of giving is hard to beat!

Thanks for stopping by!

The Weekly Smile for the 3rd of May, 2021 #weeklysmile | Trent’s World (the Blog) (trentsworld.blog)

A True Story and Real Life Dilemma

oppossum

The following is a true story. By the time this is posted, I will have added a photo. For now, the story is more important:

Early in our camping experience last summer, my granddaughter and I heard my Jack Russell Terrier barking and came upon a baby opossum peeking out from behind our generator bin. It was frightened and clearly a bit young to be wandering around on its own.
I called the dog off and she scampered out of sight. (I say “she” because Nature makes females a bit more sturdy and independent early on. I will never know her true gender but my guess is an educated one.)
She appeared once more that day around our log splitter. This uncharacteristic sighting made me snap a photo and assume “something” had happened to her mother. When I told my husband, he said he had seen a dead baby opossum in the nearby bushes, the day before. Seems my “guess” had more legitimacy after that.
It was Sunday, and we were hours from leaving for home. I had learned from other lessons of interfering with Nature, that my human instinct to “get involved” was not always wise for either the wild animal or for my heart. I felt I just HAD to give her a chance. She had survived, so far, and although I could not take responsibility for her, I didn’t have to all-together turn my back.
Just before I left, I took a large handful of dry dog food and piled it, undercover, near the generator bin. With a heavy heart, I went home.
The next week, the dog food and opossum were gone.
I thought of her often throughout the summer. I also accepted the “not knowing” of what happened to her a mixed blessing.
Around the middle of October, my dog came strutting back to my campsite with a prize catch. My heart sank! He had caught and killed a juvenile opossum. It was from under the place where I had, months before, left the dog food. Even this moment, my heart is racing and my stomach is turning at the telling of an “almost” triumphant tale.
I have little doubt that the opossum was the orphan I had met in June. She HAD survived but had not learned enough to continue to survive.
This winter’s harshness has made me consider her violent end a possible blessing against the option of freezing or starving. Without a mother, her instincts may not have well prepared her.
The moral of this story, that I hold on to, is that I HAD cared. That I HAD tried to help. I couldn’t (and shouldn’t) have done more and that I really need to let go of the heart-sickening guilt I keep revisiting.
There would be those who would say, “You didn’t care or do enough.”
I would beg to differ.
The sick feeling in my stomach while writing this is still there.
I also had asked myself a number of questions. Here’s a few:
Can I find her in time?
Is her mother temporarily trapped in a dumpster and might she return?
How could I safely capture and transport her in the same car as my dog?
Would I really be offering her a better life by interfering?
Would my husband’s opinions on my decision matter?
Is there a law against bringing wild animals into a day care setting?
Would the Animal Hospital accept her?
How terrified would she be in all this?
Yes…I DID care deeply but I knew that caring didn’t give me the “right” to affect absolute changes nor did it protect me from possibly doing more harm than good.
I’ve learned a lot from this experience. I hope in telling this story, “little opossum’s”, AND my dilemma, speaks to you.
Don’t forget…I also may be wrong in my conclusion that every sighting of an opossum was the SAME opossum. And that my friends, is where hope lives.

Camping Notes 5/6/13

I realized that on Mondays, I am usually overflowing with camp observations. Thought I’d share some, now and then.

It was the first gorgeous weekend of the 2013 season. Temperatures that I would happily keep year round, 70s, by day, and upper 40s, by night.

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To the right, is our original site which my husband, Ed, had cleared and built. The whole area was thick forest when we began over 15 years ago. This is Ellen and Kory’s place now. (They weren’t here this weekend.)

We have a small Walmart sunken pond which is my first stop every weekend. It provides a wonderful vernal pool for amphibians. The visitors are fewer,so far, and  I have a good theory as to, why?

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010It has been recently dry and the spotted salamanders and wood frogs migrate farther during rainy weather. Only the green frog “locals” and one mature Red Spotted Newt are currently present. This is a first for my pond. This week promises some rain but I’m afraid that their egg laying, for this year, might be over. 😦

So off to check out my plum blossoms. Last year, I was alarmed by how few honeybees had tended to pollination. This year, I spotted a few but the numbers are still dismal compared to years past. I’m hoping that our chilly Spring has not yet awakened the masses.

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As the day progresses, I plan my garden. We have suffered for 4 years with a terrible fungus blight. This year, I plan to grow corn and I’ll be trying an above ground method for tomatoes using wooden skids.

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Ollie, my Jack Russell, is the happiest camper. He’s able to run loose and dig to his heart’s content. He is now 9 years old and requires more breaks in the sun. Of course, he has his own chair.

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Ed and I camp in an area that he prepared for our 5th-wheel. It is just below the old homestead and is our little piece of heaven.

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Ed keeps very busy. He gathers wood and splits it, as well as, maintaining the lawns and building wonderful stone flowerbeds. His four-wheeler has all that he needs. Yes, a rifle and a chainsaw are both necessary here. Actually, Ed had arrived the day before I came. Our gas grill had been knocked from our deck and one (empty) cooler was out in our yard. Our friends, with a game camera, have evidence of a large black bear in our area. Coyotes and a fisher have also been spotted. We leave no food or garbage out to entice them!

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I was pleased to see the first of Ellen’s tulips open. The daylight hours are shorter in the woods, so our campsite is a bit behind what we have at home.

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I was also happy to see some forget-me-not seeds had taken where I’d hoped they would fill in on a banking.

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I never fail to search our piece stone before we leave. It was quarried in Hudson, NY and has many seashell fossils from a time when New York was an ocean floor. I have always loved rocks! I’m thrilled to look for fossils and, sad that so many were ground up, too. I guess I would have never had the chance to find them if that had not happened.

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So there you have a glimpse of the “good life” I find in the forest. I also had time to read in a lovely shaded area beside my dog.

Further updates will show my flower beds and garden. See you later!

When I'm Happiest

Warm and Cozy with Family

I am happiest when late Fall turns to winter at our camp.

My husband and I camp together with my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter in the addition my husband added to their camp. It contains a wood stove and we huddle together in our favorite place near a fire. There are few chores, since lawn mowing is no longer necessary, and much time for talking, playing games and drinking hot cocoa.

A light snow makes the event superb in our forest retreat!

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