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A Prayer To Escape From the Market Place

May 14, 2012

The frost date here is May 15, but we usually begin the outdoor season on the nearest Sunday. Yesterday we put out some flowers, pulled some weeds, and saw only the back of our resident groundhog, who has gotten so bold that one day I caught him sunning himself on the deck when I turned around from putting some carrots and apple in the rabbit’s bowl.

It was a good day for reading outside, listening to birds calling and little rustlings in the bushes. The quiet of the woods and the underlying furor in our overgrown garden made me think of James Wright poems, like this one:

A Prayer To Escape From The Market Place

I renounce the blindness of the magazines.
I want to lie down under a tree.
This is the only duty that is not death.
This is the everlasting happiness
Of small winds.
Suddenly,
A pheasant flutters, and I turn
Only to see him vanishing at the damp edge
Of the road.

As beneficiaries of the patrolling of four small carnivores, we hear a lot of rustling and see flashes of movement at the edges of our sight. In addition to what we don’t see, there are a few cheeky birds, a lot of show-offy squirrels, and the occasional groundhog, raccoon, skunk, possum, and deer.

I’ve never seen a coyote, but we call the cats in before nightfall and tell them stories about coyote awareness until they fall asleep.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. May 14, 2012 8:35 am

    Fits very well with my mood yesterday, though I confess to sitting in leaf filtered sun rather than directly under a tree. 🙂

    • May 15, 2012 10:13 am

      I’m still sitting in full sun whenever I go outside, but since our deck is cut into the woods going up the hill it always feels like being under trees.

  2. freshhell permalink
    May 14, 2012 3:11 pm

    The cats were after something this weekend but none of us saw what. I think the groundhog might have heard about the boldness of yours and took a risk. He got chased away for his troubles.

    • May 15, 2012 10:15 am

      I never see what our cats are after unless they catch it, and then I wish I hadn’t. This groundhog is truly enormous. This is the third season I’ve seen him or one of his relatives out there–they seem to live (or have a summer home) under part of the stairs where the deck goes up into the woods.

      • freshhell permalink
        May 15, 2012 10:29 am

        We’ve had one (at least) living in the tunnel system under the barn since we moved in 9 years ago. They usually lay low but every so often, we’ll catch a glimpse of him nibbling in the grass. Now that we’re down to 3 cats (from a high of 10 ferals), he’s a bit more bold. But not much. He’s knows better than to show himself too often.

  3. May 14, 2012 5:13 pm

    That is a bold groundhog!! I hope you can snap his photo — I’d love to see him! : )

    • May 15, 2012 10:15 am

      I have put my camera by the door to the deck. Next time he’s out there, I’ll get him!

  4. May 14, 2012 8:35 pm

    V. relieved to hear the cats come in at night. We once had a cat we could not keep, and so we gave her to family members who lived in the country where she would have plenty of room to roam. A coyote ate her in short order and I was surprisingly untraumatized, but still I would not like to hear of coyotes eating cats.

    • May 15, 2012 10:21 am

      We are serious about gathering our cats around us at dusk, even to the extent of sometimes cutting short a good time in Columbus or at a friend’s house. They get canned food in the evening and we call their names when it’s ready, but they’re usually hanging about waiting for it, because cats like a routine. Sabrina occasionally likes to have an engraved invitation before she’ll come, and I picture the neighbors’ reactions when I’m out there for the third or fourth time bellowing her name at top volume.

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