The Morning Walk

31 Aug

Isaac is off to Institute, pleased as Punch.  The girl as we drove away was asking exactly how did one acquire a driver’s license and how soon after turning the proper age.  Note that she has more than two years to that age.

This morning it was 44 degrees.  I wore a vest.  The cabbage fields were full of lovely shadows and colors in the early morning light.  Hawthorne loves the cooler weather and jumps and skips, twirls and snaps for joy.  The squash and pumpkins will have a hard time getting ripe if we stay in this mode for long, though.

Instead of walking up the runway as I usually do, I walked in the broad median of the cabbage field.  The first third are green cabbage, then a broad strip of red, then another of green.  Even with all their giant leaves, the largest cabbages are not yet very large.  Their leaves looked lovely and I thought momentarily of heisting one home.  Just to eat the leaves.  But no.  There is a reason there are perfect leaves and no weeds at all in the field, and it goes far beyond intense cultivation.  Cabbage production on a large scale requires a considerable array of pesticides and herbicides applied at specific intervals to make the round heads you see in the store.

Hawthorne was running in the soil margin, which I sadly note has had all the tilth knocked out of it (and probably has a hardpan now to boot) by the giant equipment the renters use, and he snuffed along the verge and ran up and down the runway, across it, into the alfalfa on the other side.

Near the end of the field I noticed, finally, a group of deer about 200+ yards away in the field and sun near the headland and stopped.  Hawthorne was busy with toilet duties and did not notice.

Perhaps because my boots made no noise in the soil as I came,  quite surely in the stillness of the morning air no scent betrayed us, and possibly because Hawthorne is fawn-sized, eventually three deer detached themselves from the small herd and walked towards us, cutting more than a third of the distance between us.  H. still was unaware of their presence.  I stood fixedly and observed them.  There were nine in all.  The largest four all had antlers and hung back.  The rest I think were a mix of does and fawns and the ones approaching were most likely fawns.  They were of good size.

When Hawthorne finally saw them the three deer were still coming towards us.  Hawthorne is not afraid of deer.  He goes out of his way to avoid cattle.  I think he thought these might be more cattle, like the ones two fields closer to home.  He stood quite still, sniffing, and finally came to me as I called sotto voce.

That bending over to hold Hawthorne broke the spell.  The deer turned and high-tailed it to their kin.  They all broke and jumped through the hedgerow into the woods.

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One Response to “The Morning Walk”

  1. sandysays1 31 August 2009 at 4:29 PM #

    Wow 44 degrees! I dream of that. It was raining buckets and was 79 at 5:30 AM today. We took that morning walk but I got into trouble. Humans they just don’t have sense of humor.

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