Friday, August 7 2020
location: southeast shore, Twenty Ninth Pond, remote Minerva Township, Essex County, New York
I heard the distant call of a loon soon after getting up this morning, and not long after that I heard a massive splash in the pond. Looking from the porch I saw a loon had landed about 150 feet from the house. We never see more than one loon at a time on Twenty Ninth Pond, and every time we see one, we claim his name is Throckmorton. It's evidently arduous for a loon to fly from one lake to another, and once they arrive, they usually stay for at least a day. After splashdown, Throckmorton did all the usual things he's done on past visits to Twenty Ninth Pond. This mostly ammounts to repeated under-water fishing missions punctuated by brief periods on the surface. After awhile, he'd apparently fished enough and proceeded to paddle around on the surface like a duck.
Throckmorton wasn't the only local wildlife making a spectacle. Also present were at least three ring-neck kingfishers. They kept flying in pairs and periodically making dramatic splashes into the water.
It was a cool morning, with high stratus clouds initially blocking the sun. But this gradually broke up, making for a cool sunny day.
This morning on the dock, Gretchen was still talking about Beyonce's concert movie Homecoming, and she seemed to want to hear it from me that it was an impressive spectacle. But I was noncommittal, saying that pulling off such a spectacle was "Beyonce's job." Gretchen disagreed, saying most musicians wouldn't have been so detail-oriented with such an elaborate performance. I didn't know what to say; song-and-dance numbers are not my thing. Finally I put it this way, "I'm in no position to judge."
Early this afternoon, I took my work-issued laptop up to the cellphone spot on the access road so I could update NuGet libraries on a Visual Studio project which had been throwing errors. Microsoft development environments seem particularly resistant to offline development, constantly demanding updates to libraries and failing ungracefully in the absence of a network connection. To get my laptop online, I had to use my phone as a hotspot, and it worked well enough for me to also open up a bunch of browser tabs containing news articles.
Back at the cabin, at some point the dogs saw something suspicious across the pond and launched immediately into a frenzy, whimpering and puffing as that ran down the access road, spashed through the shallow, driftwood-clogged south end of the pond, and then ran through the dense fern-rich undergrowth to the vicinity of where the cabin's powerline creates a linear clearing running like a ski path straight down a steep slope to the water's edge. I climbed in the kayak and paddled across, and after awhile both dogs found there way down to the shoreline. Ramona was so hot and exhausted, she immediately lay down in the shallows. She didn't initially seem interested in the ride I was offering. But then she walked well out onto a floating tree trunk, and when I paddled up, she climbed aboard. Neville was there as well, and though he's not nearly as interested in riding in the kayak as Ramona is, when I said "get inna cah!" like I do when we're about to ride around in the car, he climbed in as well, and I taxied them back across the pond to the dock approximately 200 feet away.
Later Anton the Chipmunk kept fucking with the dogs, appearing on the porch and then running off when they'd give chase. Anton is almost completely unafraid of humans, and clearly has been fed by them. I contributed to his pro-human attitude by throwing bits of Familia müesli at him, which he would then pick up and eat with his little chipmunk hands.
At around 5:00pm, I went for a brief paddle in the kayak towards the north end of the pond, vaguely passing Throckmorton, who let out a single "hoo!" Then I heard some loud commotion on the access road that Gretchen later determined was somebody driving towards our cabin. That never happens when we're here. Who could it have been? We'll never know, because Ramona and Neville ran down the road to meet them (not barking), and it caused the vehicle to somehow turnaround and leave.
At around this time, Throckmorton the Loon was growing restless, something loons indicate by standing up in the water and flapping their wings. Eventually he made a running start across the surface, made it airborne, and proceeded to fly in circles clockwise (when viewed from space) around the pond, gradually gaining enough altitude to clear the trees, at which point he flew south. Often loons will give a call upon departure, but this time Throckmorton was silent.
I'd eaten a recreational nugget of marijuana, which put me in a good mental space to finally watch the movie Upstream Color by Shane Carruth, the guy who'd made the excellent low-budget time-travel movie Primer. I'd tried to watch Upstream Color several times, but it has a dreamy, somewhat pretentious artsy quality that kept preventing my engagement. The interplay between the soundtrack music (also composed by Carruth) and the dialog reminded me of Primer, though Upstream Color replaced all the crazy plot possibilities that come from time travel with atmospherics. Maybe I was missing something, but I didn't get it. The sound effect guy who dumps a bag of piglets in the river, why? How exactly are grubs moving through your body supposed to do anything other than gross out the viewer? And how does that relate to the other two thirds of the movie? What role does Walden play in all this? I need to read the Wikipedia entry I guess.
Using the leftover bean glurp from yesterday, I managed to make the basis for another meal today. To bulk up that bean glurp, I added most of a can of salt-free kidney beans I'd accidentally purchased, and ended up with enough leftover glurp after tonight's meal as I'd begun with. The glurp was self-perpetuating.
We watched another episode of the Black Lady Sketch Show, though it was a bit disappointing. After that, Gretchen binged out with Beyonce movies. I liked some of the songs I overheard from her album Lemonade.
Throckmorton the Loon today. I never got a great picture because he never got too close.
Anton the Chipmunk. Click to enlarge.
Throckmorton the Loon flying around the lake before gaining enough altitude to make it above the treetops.
For linking purposes this article's URL is:feedback
previous | next