A Walk In The Rain

Discussion in 'Outings, Trips & Expeditions' started by LeafOnTheWind, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. LeafOnTheWind

    LeafOnTheWind Tracker

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    Yesterday, I got a chance to venture out into my local patch of woods for some fresh air. The plaster where most of the less-traveled trails are is over a rise, but I took the back way up on a mostly-abandoned service road. Being immersed in the cacophony of living and dying greenery put me immediately at ease, although the scoured-bare patches on some nearby saplings made me glad I'd brought my bear spray. Of course this slice of greenspace is home to all manner of wildlife, but one variety was conspicuously absent today; such a dearth of spandex-clad yuppies always makes me smile. The rain starts to trickle, then pour down in undulating sheets as I crest the edge of the plateau and emerge from the trees. Far below and to the Northeast, I can make out the snaking, clogged arteries of the interstate. That damnable road is pouring angry drivers out into the city - a mob of tired automatons, myself among them now and then.

    I move on.

    The rain pelts down.

    I smile as my glasses fog.

    At the next branching of the trail, I veer through thickets of towering blackberries, their unpicked fruits waving, withered, in the downpour. Thimbleberries, black and shriveled instead of their summer crimson, also poke out at waist level from the impenetrable wall of thorns. I'm not here for berries. Reaching the woods again, I slip back into the muted realm of pine needles and loam underfoot, and I smell it - the delicate hint of lime and rosin on the breeze that slinks through the cedar boughs. The stump is sitting about fifty years away in a watery beam of light, and it's the most beautiful thing I've seen all day. A small pine tree rests a bit off- kilter in the largest space among the spires carved out of the massive stump - the old wood has rotted away, and these miniature cities are all that remains. I tap a partially-splintered piece of it, then rip it the rest of the way off.

    Bingo. Fatwood.

    I only harvested a few already-mostly-broken-off pieces - no need to be greedy - but that'll keep me busy for a while. I'm getting better at finding fatwood, and I'll definitely be back for more.

    On my way back, the only living soul I saw was an elderly man, walking with a stick along the main trail, headed into the forest. We nodded at each other, a silent affirmation of relief that neither of us were jogging - or wearing neon spandex. As I descended the switchbacks down the ridge, I took out my phone and measured; 57dB this year. Loud enough to drown out any decent conversation that might be had under tree cover, but perhaps not yet loud enough to scare away any of the wildlife. Who knows.

    It's certainly louder than the rain.
     
  2. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Nicely written, thanks for sharing.
     
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  3. woodsmanjohn

    woodsmanjohn Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    Nice! That was an interesting story, Well done and a great find. It was almost like you were meant to find it.
     
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