occasional bright orange salamander
Monday, June 26 2006
Sometimes I forget just how rainy a rainy day can be and a day like today comes along to remind me. It came down heavy at times but didn't slacked off enough to walk the dogs until around noon. It was the best test of my various yard drainage systems to date and they all performed as well as could be expected, though in the midst of serious downpour I noticed that water was making it all the way across the driveway in one place not far from Dug Hill Road, but that was the fault of the one yard-draining pipe laid prior to my administration.
Late this afternoon came another break in the downpour and I took the dogs out for a second walk. About a quarter mile down the Stick Trail I came upon a stranger. She was maybe 50 years old and wearing a sweaty veil of transparent plastic rainwear. From a distance I thought she might be the crazy tenant guy who lives in the cottage belonging to our downhill neighbors (he's known to frequent the Stick Trail in the evenings). But he's such a nut that if he'd seen me he probably would have turned around and started walking brisky away. This woman was just standing there defensively. I suppose she feared either I would yell at her for being "on my property" or that my vicious black dogs would tear her to shreds just for fun. They could read her clearly and had found reason to bark. But I assured them it was okay and that they could settle down. When I got up to the woman she explained that she'd walked all the way from Canary Hill Road and that she'd never been this far down the trail before. She asked if I was coming from Dug Hill Road and I said yes, that she didn't have far to go to get there. I explained that the trail actually ended in my backyard. "I love the woods when it rains," I said by way of goodbye and she agreed, but she didn't have to. There was a reason that on this particular afternoon the trail had led her further than ever before. It was the miracle of hundreds of tiny rivulets between clumps of soggy leaf litter, flecked by the occasional bright orange salamander.
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