Panda's First Smile

Panda's First Smile
PandaPig's First Smile!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

"After The Falls - Literally"

For over a decade, the guinea pigs
and our Bengal Cat, Chai, got to
live overlooking an Audubon
Wildlife Refuge, adjacent to 
Whatcom Falls Park, a few hundred 
acres replete with dense, forest trails,
a viable salmon stream, waterfalls,
ponds, and wildlife in abundance!
The piggies loved all the fragrances
that wafted in on the wind into our
place where we kept windows and
doors open as much as possible to invite in warmth or coolness,
light, full moons, Arctic windstorms, 
and - of course -
the symphony of trumpeting wildlife
living on the marsh we overlooked; 
only minutes through verdant wooded trails from the Falls...
Myriad species of colorful waterfowl, beavers,
muskrats, and SongBirds in abundance! 
We awoke
before Dawn to their Concerts
every morning:
And it was Good.

Whatcom Creek was only brisk
ten minute walk from the marsh, 
or - in winter when
we got snowed in, which I loved! -
STILL just a trail away on
cross-country skis or snowshoes:
One winter we were snowed in
for two whole weeks, since the marsh
 we sat atop such a steep a hill it was nearly
impossible to drive up
or down, so every day a nature-ski to the
pond where swans chose to rest and refuel before migrating further south. 
And THAT was Very Good!

The Meditation Bench overlooking
Whatcom Falls...

Dry-land Ski Poles were optional then.
But I slipped on our moss-covered,
wooden walkway after wet leaves
fell, soaking it, during an October windy 
rainstorm while walking the Bengal 
cat and lost consciousness.
One of the things you don't learn 
from your mom: concussions are
serious. I landed directly on my head,
and six weeks later pulled it off again!
No bragging rights like: "I smashed
into the boards during a speedskating
race just before crossing the finish line
for gold!" 
"It happened while climbing ropeless 14 feet across rocks while traversing a steep
cliff before a Zombie jumped out, 
startled me, so I fell on my head.
We're talking ZOMBIES!
or Bigfoot, whatEVER."

Or, "I was mountain biking, caught 
AWESOME AIR jumping a log, then,
Badda-Bing, Badda-Boom: Brain Scramble a la permanente.
Nah,  just walking my cat and slipped.
Did not know how serious concussions were
until the second one, haven't walked
unassisted since. But, the guinea pigs don't 
mind at all! They love their Runabouts on the
floor! Which turns out to be a very cozy
place for people with Traumatic Brain Injury;
since you're already there: I mean, you're already on the floor, what worse gonna happen?

 Last week, I returned to the marsh and woods, to the falls and trails just to INHALE.
The eagle's nest had blown away in a 
windstorm and the falls were BLASTING SOME KINDA UPROAR AFTER all the
rain, snow, and WICKED windstorms we've received during an unusually brutal, grey, wet, dark fall...Still, It was good to be back, albeit bittersweet retracing familiar
steps that were once hiked daily by
foot or an invigorating twisty-turny mountain bike ride, perhaps even enjoyed in winter on skis or snowshoes, yet always so much to INHALE:
And it is still good. 
Just that now I return to the
downtown Guinea Pig
Nation...and the inevitable:

"Where ya been, ma, bring anything
special home for us?
Ummm, Did you actually
say NO?!"

"FINE! Then I shall resume napping,
displaying my new pedicure,
thanks to some friends who treated
us all to New Year Nail trims at the spa!
We don't need no stinking waterfalls, 
just need Treats! Runabouts! Lap Time! LOVE!

 So ma, keep pole-walkin' that dock near the market cuz then ya don't forget to bring us back that fresh, organic wheatgrass!" MMmmmm....!

Peter Peanut hath Spoken.

So much for reveries...
and waxing poetic on the virtues
of woods, waterfalls, and wildlife
Got a herd o'Piggies
clamoring for their favorite Treats!

that, my friends, is BEST of All!
Happy New Year!

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