on the days when i am not skiing or biking or owling or gardening, i spend many of my idle hours in a well-worn chair whose olfactory signature is remarkably similar to that of my ass.
yet, it is a comfortable chair and its odiferous patina is nothing that a big jar of febreeze can’t temper.
i love that chair at the apex of the picture windows.
the nice thing is that watching what occurs in my back yard is now a compelling activity. when i put the new windows in 2 summers ago, i had no idea that i could spend so much time watching nothing occur. then again, i am an owler and a hermitic bachelor male and so, i am a seasoned pro in the fine art of nothingness.
my house sits on the edge of aspen and a small open water wetland whose water component is gone by june. there are blue flag in it and if my green thumb is viable, there will soon be cardinal flowers. beyond the wetland is the aspen, my prized landscape feature. below the aspen, the vigor of fir and spruce.
the interface where conifer meets wetlands is giving itself up as a line of transit for many land-based travelers that move through my land. i have seen deer bedding beneath the boughs and wolf skulking like ball players in the corn of an imagined iowa baseball field
“is this heaven?”
” no, it’s tofte.”
“shit. i thought it was heaven. how do i get to heaven?”
“take 61 north into canada…it’s somewhere in canada. it’s gotta be.”
two of the animals that use the line of conifers are both named stumpy. stumpy the squirrel and stumpy the pine marten. both move without tails. both have been familiar to me for more than a year. i feel good when i see them. in fact, stumpy the squirrel has been granted immunity from the sting of slingshot wrath. he is my sciurid friend.
of course, stumpy the marten has no endearing traits other than its nose-searing streams of musk. he is a predator and the fact that stumpy the marten has yet to dine on stumpy the squirrel is nothing but good fortune and timing for stumpy the squirrel.
i have no idea what happened to eithers’ tail, but the lack thereof, makes them uniquely identifiable. stumpy marten has tan, calico colored throat patches and a sleek pelage. i would love to rub his belly and see if he purrs, but he would shred my flesh.
stumpy squirrel is a rodent that daily, eats his weight in seeds beneath my feeders. when i appear on the deck with my slingshot of horror, all squirrels run away. stumpy continues eating. he has grown fearless. conditioned.
i am pretty sure all those seeds will make stumpy marten happy when he finally dines on stumpy squirrel.
i just hope i get to see that.
from my chair.
with the febreeze.