It has been the kind of autumn weather sent from somewhere good. 65 degrees and sunny. No wind. The leaves are changing quietly and, if it weren’t for the magical mosquitos that somehow made it through a few overnight freezes, the animals would be as content as they can be.
I can hardly stand staying inside. I can’t. I sit at my desk and work and then get up and take out the garbage. I wander to see if maybe there are things that need picking up out there. I pet the cats just a little longer. Throw the stick for the dog. I just got in from checking the mailbox. And how the leaves are changing. And procrastinating life behind my desk.
Yesterday I called Husband and tried to make a plan to hit the hills when he got home. He thought that would be a good idea. He thought maybe he should be home at a decent hour. It was like 4:00 when I called him.
Three and a half long hours later he arrived…just enough time for me to walk down to the barnyard. Zig zag back to the house again, taking pictures of everything along the way. Taste a few of the biggest plums. Pet the cat. Pet the dog. Mosy back in the house to think about supper and decide I will decide later. Then out on the deck to lay face down in the sun and read a book while I wait and maybe, uh, I don’t know….fall asleep face down until the sensation of a missing limb wakes me up…
My armmmm…..myyy arrmmm fell asslleeepp…
Anyway, finally I heard the clunk, clunk of his boots on the steps and I grabbed my cap and camera and stood like a nerd without a life by the counter and proceeded to make approximately 23 suggestions on what we could do right at that moment, before the sun went down…
Take a walk, shoot at a target, check the game cams, take a 4-wheeler ride, catch the horses really quick if that’s even possible, take a drive, take a run, do pretty much anything but work, climb Pots and Pans and wait for the sunset and let me take photos of him …pick more plums…or chokecherries…or what’s left of the flowers…
In the end taking a ride on the 4-wheeler to the east pasture to check on the game cams won out and I was out the door on the back of that machine before the man could even find his hat.
I will tell you, I would always rather be on a horse, but there is nothing like sitting close to a man with your arms around his waist, under the quickly setting sun, moving through the coulees, talking and watching and just being out and about.
“Isn’t this quite the day?” I would say.
“Sure is,” he would reply as we rolled along, slowly, before stopping so I could take a photo and he could put his binoculars up to his face to see what he could see there on the skyline.
Turns out that the wild things were just as restless as I was that evening and we were in their witching hour, surrounded.
Husband killed the engine of the machine and I followed him on foot, up to the top of the hill where he would quietly hand me the binoculars so I could see up close what I was watching from afar…
A big muley buck making his way out of the trees to the north, and a white tail waiting on the other side. And then, in the corner of our pasture, a herd of elk milled around, the cows bunched up while the lead bull worked himself up trying to fend off his young competitors.
“You hear them bugling?” he asked and handed me the binoculars.
“Yeah,” I whispered, taking a look and handing them back.
And then he would turn back and watch the bucks, making a comment on their size and behavior before handing me the binoculars again.
And that’s what we did then, until the sun dropped below the horizon and we could no longer make out the animals as anything but shadows. We watched the other creatures end the day while we ended ours and it was nice.
Then we turned around and marched back toward our wheels, and I listened as he made plans for his hunt this fall and we didn’t even notice those damn mosquitos.
Yes, we’ve had the kind of autumn days that are made of all things good. And just as the leaves change, so our lives change quietly, from season to season. But I’d like to suppose, no matter how that time ticks, you will always find the two of us out there, when the weather’s good, together, with the other wild, restless things…