Birds and Bums

These days the sun sets at around 5pm here on Widder Island, and after an intense day of writing, on novels and blog posts and assorted commentings around the interwebz, my brain was in sore need of fresh air.

The rain had temporarily stopped bucketing down so I bundled up and headed out for a brisk walk along the lane to the other side of Widder Lake, taking a brolly, just in case.

The end of the road is also a turn-around, so them’s wot are lost have the means to do an about-face without resorting to a 17-point turn. As I walked through the scraggly trees and leaf-denuded bushes between the road and the path nearer the water I could see a single car parked to one side of the turn-around. They seemed to be minding their own business so I minded mine and turned my attention to the assorted flocks of ducks, geese, and swans, swooping in from across the mountain and down onto the lake. (I assume these are late leaving for parts south or are really, really keen to head back north for the summer)

One flock, geese, I think, but the mist and the gloaming made it hard to see anything too clearly, caught my eye as they came over the ridge and started their descent … then with equal grace swirled around and rose back into the sky.

Around and around, they spiraled the length of the lake, widdershins-wise, dipping low, and then, almost without any effort at all, drifting back up again.

There were no predators around. The bald eagle clan who live on the other side of the lake were salmon fishing along the river a few kilometers away, and all the human farmers who considered the flocks ‘pests’ were snug inside their houses. This flock looked like they just wanted to soar for a while before settling down for the night.

As I watched them I wondered if they did it for the pure enjoyment of flight. Not in an anthropomorphized kind of a way, but within their own avian concepts of joy.

Eventually the rain started again. I popped my umbrella and began to wend my way home.

I did a quick scan of my surroundings, as one does when one is alone with the wild things, including a fleeting glance at the turn-around where, you might remember, a car, apparently minding its business had parked. Lo and behold, there, next to the car, shining through the darkening mist and rain I saw a perfectly naked peach-shaped bum.

I quickly redirected my fleeting glance back on the path in front of me and ambled home whilst ruminating on how the birds and the bum complimented each other in a delightfully irreverent, and dare I say, cheeky, way.

I suspect that whoever was in the car decided to take advantage of the dark and nip out for a bit of a pee. I hoped she didn’t see me. It’s nerve-wracking enough to risk one’s naked bum in the open, in the dark, to empty one’s bladder, but being observed doing so, is another matter entirely.


Coco the Community Cat dropped in this afternoon. She and Mirabeau oversaw my writerly endeavours with an appropriate amount of interest.

Mirabeau – “Do you think she suspects?”
Coco – “None of them suspect. Relax. All is at it should be.”



A Bee in the Washing Machine of Life

Today I’ve been reorganizing my bedroom. This is a direct result of having more storage in our shiny new shedIt is a prerequisite of such activities that sheets, blankets, and any other soft furnishings not nailed down, must be washed.

… including the covers from my hot water bottles

The only thing I am willing to admit I miss about summer is sun dried washing. Unfortunately, by this time of year our backyard is shrouded in tree-shade until about 3pm where the sun dips under the fir trees and has a moment of brilliance, until it swiftly sinks behind the hills on the far side of Widder Lake

As a counterpoint to the ‘bench-by-the-lake-in-summer’ picture I posted at the top of my last post, here’s the same bench, a few winter’s ago, all snug in the snow, with the ‘blocking-the-clothes-drying-sun’ hills in the background

With my arms overflowing with bedclothes and other sundries, I negotiated the narrow trail that was all that was left of the hallway after the stuff to be relocated to the shed had vacated my room but wasn’t quite out the back door yet.

I plonked the load down on top of the dryer, got the water running into the washing machine next to it, and measured out the soap to get the whole operation underway, when I saw a forlorn little critter clinging to the side of the drum, probably freaking out at the sudden crashing waterfall threatening to obliterate it.

A friend of mine back in Oz, on certain occasions when she was feeling down, would say she felt like a lost sock in the washing machine of life. Referring, of course, to the single sock that inevitably shows up when you take a load of washing out of the machine, and that you can never, ever again, find the other one.

I suspect the wee beastie felt somewhat the same way as I gently nudged her into the shallow plastic container reserved for removing spiders from study windows and shower recesses, and carried her out into the soft autumn sunshine, hoping the warmth might revive her.

‘Dear Hive Queen. All hail, O Mighty Honey Provider. I think I am in a different dimension.’

I watched as her little head sank lower and the pulse in her abdomen slowed and slowed, and slowed. Her wings were all folded in on themselves.

I wondered if she had flown her last mission.

There was nothing I could do. Her fate was beyond me.

I checked on her now and then over the next little while. She hadn’t moved.

I came out one last time before we closed the back door against the evening chill and …

… Bee-gone! 🙂

I wished her well and hoped she had many more adventures before the Great Washing Machine of Life finally claimed her for its own.