Sunday, July 26, 2009
When temperatures rise over 100 degrees, we head for the hills. Blacksmith Fork Canyon this time. Up at the top, past Hardware Ranch is a little used hike / creek called Rock Creek. A bit up the trail next to a peaceful beaver dam is a small meadow where you can set up camp undisturbed. So undisturbed in fact that all of us took advantage of the more secluded sandy bottomed second dam to wash away the day's grime and sweat. This is the first time I've indulged in a Romanesque female group bath. I wish I could have taken a picture. When the men went in, they whooped and hollered till Deonne and I almost leaped out of our seats to see what crazy things they were doing. CRAZY Sunshine went in the ice cold water as often as we'd let her. Little Mother had her heart's desire in her two baby cousins. She rocked, carried, and snuzzled most of the time. The rest of the time was spent with Josh, who was a treat to be around.
We hiked to the top of the mountain, babies, young ones, middle ones, and adults. Part way through is a mud patch where hundreds of male butterflies gather to drink liquid nutiants such as amino acids and salts. I sent the others ahead and sat in the middle of the brown, orange, yellow, blue, and purple flutterfest. Up further I found thousands of gooseberry bushed and began dreaming of gooseberry fool, tart, pie, crumble, jam, and sauce for pork. Toward the top of the hike, Josh picked a plant and asked, "What's this?" "Smell it." I replied. "Now put it in your mouth. Chew it slowly, then take a drink of water. Isn't that the best water you've ever had?" As we walked side by side down the mountain he sighed. "Why don't they just make water with mint in it?"
At night as the fire crackled and glowed, I sat quietly in my chair and gained a new appreciation for my brother in law Greg. His brilliance, his kindness to his wife, and his kind heart was more visible to me than it has been in the past. Sleep that night was . . . swear word bad. Little Mother has night terrors and acted possessed the entire night. She kicked, hit, screamed and clawed her way out the tent every fifteen minutes. In the morning, she kissed me as I lay exhausted next to her and left the tent quite unaware of the trauma she had caused.
As usual, I crept through the underbrush alone on overgrown game trails that wound up the hill next to the creek. A bird called, then moved a tree ahead. Called then moved again. I sat in a grassy spot, determined to see my shy little friend. Success! A kestrel! He looked soft and puffy, not at all like a small soaring predator. After we enjoyed each others company for a time, I crept off, to keep his nest a secret.