Ah, Nature

Nature can be seen as the wilderness, but it can also be seen as the life we all experience.

I live in the coastal forest. It’s not far from town, but I grew up in suburbia, so when I see a bear, I get excited. (see previous post). I also get excited when I’m working in my yard and a snake suddenly slithers across my path. I yelp and jump back every time, even though I know the snakes here are not dangerous. It’s some kind of instinctual reaction. At least I can say the word “snake.” I’ve got a friend who calls them “fluffies.”

Today, I saw one snake, a short one, did my scream and dance, then went back to work, figuring that was my snake sighting for the day. Not so. A few minutes later, a much longer snake appeared out of nowhere. As I shrieked and backpedaled, Annie stood stunned as the snake wiggled through her legs and away under the fence. I had to sit down and take a breath after that. Then I saw a snake skin that one of my reptilian tenants had shed.

Deciding we’d had enough yard work, I leashed up the pup and we went to the nearby Beaver Creek wilderness area, a new Oregon State park that is just beautiful. It’s real wilderness, winding along the creek and through the marshes. What was the first thing we saw as we set paw on the path? Another snake, this one a long garter snake with a vermillion stripe. I don’t remember a more beautiful summer here, and I guess the snakes feel the same way.

Signs noted that bears and cougars had been seen around, but all we saw were bumblebees and, oddly, a rooster. Annie, who had no idea what it was, stared until I pulled her away. Still panting, she’s glad to be back on the sofa now.

Annie has had a busy few days. Saturday at the dog park, she fell in love for the first time. A dog-show-worthy doberman came trotting to the gate with his owner. Both dogs started whining to get together. Once the dobie was inside, Annie made a perfect fool of herself, dancing and posing as they sniffed each other’s parts. They ran together, then sniffed some more. The dobie, Frisco, was as smitten as Annie was. Cue the theme from Romeo and Juliet. Unfortunately, Frisco is an intact, purebred show dog, while Annie is a slightly overweight spayed mutt. But love is part of nature, and we can’t help who we fall in love with, can we?

Author: Sue Fagalde Lick

writer/musician California native, Oregon resident Author of Freelancing for Newspapers, Shoes Full of Sand, Azorean Dreams, Stories Grandma Never Told, Childless by Marriage, and Up Beaver Creek. Most recently, I have published two poetry chapbooks, Gravel Road Ahead and The Widow at the Piano: Confessions of a Distracted Catholic. I have published hundreds of articles, plus essays, fiction and poetry. I'm also pretty good at singing and playing guitar and piano.

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