Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Wild Weekend...

...though not the kind of wild like some of the weekends in my misspent youth.  Like that one time: a Thursday, Blues Night at the White Eagle in Portland.  Charlie Musselwhite, too much tequila, rowdy friends...and somehow we all ended up in San Francisco the next day when I should have been at work.

Ah, but that's a story for another time...

What wild weekend means in the here and now is freezing nights, hot days and turbulent high winds. The windmills started whooping about midnight down in the vineyards and continued on until late morning every day.  At first it drove me nuts, but eventually it just becomes white noise in the background, until late Monday night I suddenly realized...Hey! It's quiet!

And then the rains came, driven by the wind that is still howling and raging this afternoon. My house creaks like a ship tossed in a maelstrom and I wonder how firmly a man-made foundation can really attach to bedrock.

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I watched the resident hawks doing their mating dance on Saturday, and though I tried to take a video of the loops and dives, the raucous calls and shrieks, I couldn't follow them with just my camera.  It would take Nat Geo equipment, I think.  Still, it was amazing to stand on my back deck and see the waltz.

Later in the day, I was framing some new photos to replace two I've gotten tired of looking at, and glanced out the den window to see more stuff going on in my birch trees.

Two doves, kissing and loving each other up.  Seriously.  He would nuzzle her, she would tuck her head under his chin, he would rub his cheek on hers.  It was very sweet...

Even with crazy weather, it seems love--and Spring--is in the air as far as the wildlife is concerned.

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Sunday evening, rather than walk toward the mail box, I took the boys in the other direction to the end of the road and the viewpoint.  Max got a bit carried away looking for a place to do his business and went down the steep part of the slope a bit too far. Most folks would no doubt have left the...well...business, but I'm not most people. When he was finished I slid down the embankment, picked it up and was tying the bag closed when I realized I was standing in a patch of poison oak. Frigging bloody hell and damnation.  I carefully backed away, pretty sure nothing had touched me, and scrambled up the slope.  When we got home I stripped off my clothes just to be sure, put them in the washing machine on hot, then breathed a sigh of relief.

Which lasted for about an hour.

My right forearm looks like I've been chewed on by a hoard of zombies. The itching almost drove me insane Sunday night and most of yesterday.  I tried sooooooo hard not to scratch, but seriously peeps, there's no way I could stand it; the urge just consumes your every thought and is totally impossible to ignore.  Of course, the scratching made it ten times worse and spread the poison in a nice long swath of horrid itching agony.

Today is a bit better, not so itchy, but there's no way in hell I would show my arm in public.  I'd probably get hauled off to wherever the CDC puts zombies.  And what's up with poison oak in the first place?  What could possibly be Nature's reason for such a diabolical plant?


  1. That would be so cool to see the hawks dancing. Rare as hen's teeth we see raptors up here, though I know they're about.

    1. I made several attempts to capture them, but the speed and the amazing skill in their dance was too much for my meager human efforts. It was mesmerizing to watch...