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Gaia stole my new tripod!

See, on Saturday, Weasel really does go for a little tramp in the woods. This is made possible by a hand-held GPS device — I own the same make and model those British sailors apparently had, but let’s not talk about that or I’m going to want to nuke somethin’ — without which I can get lost on the way to the little stoat’s room.

Mine is set to record a ‘bread-crumb’ trail as I hike. I usually upload this and superimpose my path over Google Earth when I get home, to scope out what the hell just happened to me. So it is that I can tell you right when Gaia hooked her sticky fingers in my pack and stole my brand new tripod on its first outing.

I know where I stopped to take a picture of my butt in the woods, like I promised you guys (I erased it. Only thing worse than a picture of one’s butt in the woods is an unflattering picture of one’s butt in the woods). I jammed the tripod in one of the water-bottle pockets of my pack after that.

The gaps are where I spread my stoaty wings and flapped serenely into the warm upcurrents of a Spring morning. Or maybe where the GPS lost signal. Lousy signal day, this. That angry knot at the top is where I left the path and attempted to bushwhack across to another path. It isn’t marked “swamp” on the topo. But it is one.

Have you ever hiked swamp? Uff. Little humps of soggy sphagnum moss, each with a sickly tree in the middle, separated in the winter by ice, in the summer by stinky puddles, and in the spring (what it is now) by puddles of stinky ice. Navigation is by island hopping, judging distances and leaping from one quivering, insecure hummock to another, clutching at trees that won’t take your weight and landing on solid ground that isn’t and won’t, either. Rot-nourished scrub everywhere, grabbing your jeans, pulling off your hat, tearing at your pack.

My pack…

Somewhere in that vile soup an innocent-looking young rhododendron shoot wrapped a tendril around my gorillapod and nicked it. I started to re-trace my steps, but my heart wasn’t in it. I felt like I had just had an all-body floss with a blackberry bush. Stupid, spiteful nature.

Want a free tripod? Go to N41.93488, W71.75488. Wear good boots.

Mobbed by tits

On my way back to the car, a little bird landed on a branch right at my elbow. I stopped and stared at him. Another, identical bird landed next to him. I lifted my camera slowly, and two more landed on the ground to my left.

Soon, six or eight of them had gathered. I stood still, and they hopped and twittered all around me. I suppose it might have been some kind of territorial aggression, but it didn’t look it. It looked like plain old curiosity. Or the sheer pleasure of being a gang of small birds in the woods.

So, what is this? A tit? A chickadee? I swear I’m not asking so I can keep saying “tit.”

April 2, 2007 — 11:41 am
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