Tuesday, June 3, 2008

FIELD NOTES: It's a great position to lie in because...

from a hammock you get a new perspective on your own backyard. There is intrigue, detail, small stuff that is important (to the small) and even the murder-mystery. There is a particular cat – a white one with a black fur cape thrown over his head and back - that frequents my yard, stalking my beloved birds but earning redemption by rounding up the rodents. I think it his cache that I have uncovered under the shed. An old picnic table I use as an outdoor potting bench sits atop a set of wooden pallets where I store odd containers along with seasonal bags of soil and peat. A loose board and the hole underneath bequeathed a lip-curling collection of bones, furry pieces of tails and a shriveled up bird carcass. I know there is an underground system of tunnels from sometimes having the lawn sink beneath my feet and I have seen Mr. Blackcape watching the entrances and exits. I’m lying crosswise in the hammock and spy two pointy ears periscope up, then quickly down, behind the wood pile. I imitate a friendly purr to draw Mr. Blackcape out. Maybe we could be friends? But he interprets my overture as artificial and reacts in either mistrust or condescension. I accept his rejection as a condition of nature and like a lion in the wilderness, we will live parallel lives, respecting an invisible, silent boundary and considering each other’s actions with a pinch of suspicion. I have to do something about not getting enough hammock time.

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