A Herd Remnant

Summer                                               Waxing Grandchildren Moon

The thundering herd of 11 Woolly Mammoths had dwindled to 5 by the time it found the outer reaches of urbia, the ex part.  Tom, Bill, Frank, Mark and Stefan joined me to make 6 of us for the July 2010 meeting.  Kate put together sandwiches, hor d’oeuvres, her rhubarb pudding with nutmeg cream sauce and various vegetables.  The food kept us all this side of the tar pit for another 24 hours.

We had a pre-meal excursion through the dog-proofed garden and over to Artemis Hives.  Various questions were asked and some were answered.  Most kept a respectful distance from the now upwards of 100,000 total bees at work.  It was fun to share the bee keeping work and the colonies with the crew.

Since I learned the cut comb method of honey extracting from Linda’s Bees, I gave each Woolly an aluminum foil square with the first ever Artemis Honey to leave the hives.  It was a signal moment for me and a highlight of my evening.

We checked in, discussed the natural world and listened to a couple of excerpts from “Hair”, reminiscing as we did about the 60’s, that moment in our lives, the unusual and powerful forces at work then.  Woolly Scott plays drums in a rendition of Hair directed by his son in Carbondale, Colorado.  He will be out there the whole month of July and shared some powerful emotional moments he has already had mounting this late 60’s classic musical.

The second picture itself took me back to those times.  I had forgotten the pure, animal joy of having long hair and flinging it around to the Doors, or Led Zepplin or the tunes from Hair.  Being stoned helped, too.

Mark Odegard, our only dam lock keeper, reported on his 7 pm to 7 am shifts at the #1 lock and dam.  There is a peregrine falcon nest nearby and he has observed the rearing of two peregrine chicks, including a late phase in which they peck so fiercely at their parents that the parents stand outside the nest and drop food into the razor beaked young.  I have known parents of adolescents who might have benefited from the example.

He also saw one chick’s first flight, a tumbling, gliding, clumsy landing affair.  Night on the river casts a spell, he says, and all down there succumb.

Kate and I, introverts by nature and preference, have just finished a week with the grandkids and their parents followed immediately by several days of preparation for visitors.  It wore us out.  We got up, ate breakfast, went back to bed and got up again around noon.  I’ll probably get another nap in before workout time.  Next time we’re going to have a cook, a cleaner and a gardener.

It is quiet here now.  Blessedly so.

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