Sunday, November 15, 2009

Of Mulch Piles and Mutts

I remember the oddest things. I had firewood from a downed Oak, so I wasn’t throwing away any of my paper trash. I’d just chunk it into the fireplace so I would have something to start the kindling. The weird thing is after a week the paper stuff had really piled up. Paper towels in particular were beginning to build up like a snow drift. Did I use that many paper towels in a week? Along with the paper towels was a never ending mound of paper junk mail. Over to one side was a small collection of cardboard boxes. Damn man, where did all this trash come from anyway?

I set fire to the pile in the fireplace but in just a few days… Okay, there has to be a Plan “B” other than just throwing it into a landfill somewhere. So I started a Mulch Pile, where all things organic from my house will make their way. I suspected it would get quite large and very smelly, but after just a couple of weeks, it reached a point of equilibrium. The smell isn’t something that can be noticed unless you’re digging around in it. I even put up a small fence to keep the dogs away from it, but they showed no interest so I took it down. It went back up when Lucas arrived, as he loves to mine the pile for rotten veggies to eat.

It’s hard to do with weird hours but I try to walk the fenceline once a day, and this is a big deal for the mutts. The whole pack is out in the woods, all one acre of it, and Bert and Sam take up hunting positions, or they did until Lucas arrived and now it’s all they can do to get from one point to another while he’s dragging them into play. We’ve walked a path around the whole place and the mutts for reasons only they can discern, have secondary path crisscrossing here and there. It was these secondary paths that made me think it was time to get a puppy. The path around the fenceline remained clear, but the mutt paths leading here and there, for mutt reasons, began to be overgrown from lack of use. Bert and Sam were not walking as they once did when I was away. The paths are very clear and distinct again. The puppy is exercising the elderly dogs, it would seem.
I go out to visit the Giant Oak in the Southwest corner of the property when I walk the line, and there is a vast limb that fell years ago, still intact at the trunk, and still massive. Sam thinks there are varmints in the top of the Oak and he will stretch out on his hind legs, reaching for the crown of the Oak, in hopes that some small furry animal will be so intimidated by his fierceness, it will swoon and fall directly into his mouth. To date, this has not happened, but Sam is nothing if he is not relentless. Bert suspects there is nothing in the tree, but the possibility, no matter how remote, Sam may be right, gives Bert reason enough to help as he may. They both will lean up against the massive truck, standing upright, and pushing with all they have, in hopes of toppling the tree, perhaps. You do have to admire their optimism, yea.

Between the Mulch Pile and the Oak is where I found my wallet, just off the mutt path. Canine Route 202, leading Southbound from the Firepit, Exit 13, in the lost and found department, in as much as they need one. I was actually setting up a target for Reece, who wants to see what damage a shotgun does up close, and there it was. None of The Three showed any interest in it being there, and there is not a mark on it at all. How it came to be there, I can only suspect one of The Three, but for what reason or reasons, I cannot discern.

Take Care,
Mike

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