Now, as everyone knows, Ma; my better half, and I are waaaay off the beaten path…Ok.. It’s not so much a path as a series of deer tracks that veer off a dirt road.. off a dirt road that is off an old mountain road….between villages… In the arm pit of the Columbia Gorge… So.. Trick or Treaters don’t quite make it this far out…. Generally, the banjo music from the homes closer to pavement steer folks away… So… We have our own Trick or Treaters up here.
Party at Ma’s
Our kids; furry, feathers and or fuzzy, decided that they would have the Halloween Party early this year as there are not one, but two sky events Saturday eve making the night just that much more fun…. Plus, none of us want to be running around while the night haunts are out and about.
As dusk got ever closer, Ma and I made our way out to the porch with a bag of goodies for our kids to see what they come up with.
Our Girl came slowly up the hillside, Lil Buck following her along with several other does.
“ Lil Buck!. Buddy, still hangin with your mom?” I called out.
” Hey Da. Yeh, my mom asked me to come Trick or Treat one more time.”
“ Nice. Don’t tell me. You’re Rudolf , right?”
Lil Buck rolled his eyes. The large red nose beaming.
I started to hand him an apple when he replied.
“ No… I’m a clown.”
I stopped, looked at him and began to frown. I took the apple back and tossed a pine cone in his bag.
“ Hey! What the hell Da?”
“ Clowns freak me out.”
“ Fine.. I’m Rudolf then.. I want my appule.”
I laughed , tossing the apple into his bag. I looked over to our new little doe fawn.
“ And you Pretty Girl, what are you suppose to be?”
She cleared her throat, looked to her mom then Our Girl, both of them grinning and nodding.
The little fawn looked back to me, clearing her throat again and burst out in song,
“ A doe, a deer. A female deer…”
At the moment,our coyote kids cleared the ridge, Rhey breaking in.
“ Rhey ! A drop of golden sun!”
Everyone started laughing.
Dennis, obviously in costume, came running in his out of control bounds, sliding to a stop in front of me, absently pulling his foot out of a gopher hole. His eyes slowly rolling left, and right as he shook his head.
“Don’t tell me.” I laughed as I stared at him.” Let me guess….. You’re a mouse.”
Dennis leaped in the air. “ Nope ! I’na mouse!” annnnnd flopped on his rump. His eyes spinning.. I could swear I heard his marbles rolling around in his head. His tongue hanging to the side, drool slowly dripping before he flipped it up to lick his eye brows.
“ Ah.. Silly me. I should have known.”
Dennis nodded vigorously, this time I KNEW I heard rattling. His head stopped, but his eyes kept spinning.
“ Well. If you’re a mouse, then you probably don’t want this sack of mice. Let me go get you some cheese.”
He leap to his feet, vibrating.” Nonono.. I like Mice!”
“” Ok, mice it is then.” I tossed the bag to him. He missed it, snapping at air. The bag hit the ground and mice spewed out. Dennis slapping and biting at them, knocking kids out of the way.
“ Rhey.. What are you suppose to be anyway?” She was slowly walking in, pulling a small wagon behind her, something round and red in it.
“ I am a super attractive female coyote that everyone loves……Duh.”
I rolled my eyes, staring at her .
” What’s in the wagon? What’s with the Dodge Ball?“
“ It’s an apple.”
“ Pretty sure it’s a Dodge Ball.”
“ Apple… Come look closer.”
I eyed her warily. Stepping down off the deck steps, I peered at the red balled when two sounds popped at the same time, Micro Spike’s head popping out the top and his rattles out the side. I leaped back.
“ Holy Shit!”
The kids started laughing, including the tiny rattle snake poking out of the red ball.
“ I’m a worm.”
“ You certainly are.” I said as I held my chest.” You guys have Got to stop doing that.” I glared at him. “ What do you give a rattle snake for Trick or Treat anyway?”
“I’d go for a mouse.”
“ They are bigger than you…weirdo..” I cocked my head to the side, watching the little snake. “ You shoulda been a vampire. You have the fangs for it.”
“ Crap! I should have been a vampire, Blah, blah, blah.” The little snake answered back.
Huggin and Munnin glided in, landing at the edge of the deck,
“What are you guys suppose to be?
The two ravens looked to one another, shrugged and turn to me.
“ You fall down or something?”
“ Pretty much every day. Why?”
“ You musta cracked your skull. We’re ravens.”
Munnin looked to her mate. Huggin turned to her. both nodded to one another, shrugged and looked back to me, nodding once again.
I stared at them, deadpan. “………………………….Wellllll, alrighty then.. Moving along.”
I turn as I saw a little tawny ball of fluff dive off the top of the wood pile heading our way. Jake; the little male bobcat, his feather in his mouth came running our way.
“ I’na Eagle!” He called as he jumped into the air.
Jake ran up the steps, spinning in circles on the deck, his feather catching air. ” I’na Eagle !” … and with that, he plopped his fuzzy butt on the deck, staring up at me panting. Breathlessly he called one more time as he look up at me. “ I’na Eagle! See?!”
“ Hi Jake. Wow, you look just like an eagle.”
He nodded at me, his rear legs sliding along the deck from under him as he began to slowly sprawl. “ Yup.” he panted as he let out a sigh. His eyes slowly began to close. In moments we could hear soft kitty snoring.
“ Well, we’ll just let him pick out some mice, maybe, later.”
Jake lay on the deck at my feet, sucking on his feather in his sleep.
I could hear, just off my left a “ Bzzzz. Bzzz. Bzzz.” I turn only to burst out laughing.
“ I’m a bumble bee!” Called out Lass, from her bulky Yellow and black fat , fluffy bumble bee costume. She hover by my head. ” I’m a bumble bee!” She began bouncing off the side of my head. “ Bzz. Bzzz.” She proceeded to bounce off my side and back, then along my arm only to start banging off the side of my head again.
“ I am going to swat you here in a moment Lass. You weird little hummingbird.”
“I’m a bumble bee!” She called out just before she rammed me between the eyes.
I chucked a pine cone into her Trick or Treat bag sending her to the ground, out of control.
“ You suck !” She called out. She stood on the deck, glaring up at me, her wings slightly back, her fuzzy chest puffed out. Lass glared at me for a bit longer, everyone quiet, watching, excepted for Jake who lay snoring. She look over at the sleeping bobcat and began to giggle. Slowly her wings gained speed and ever so slowly she began to rise until she was staring me in the eyes again. She flew straight at me , bouncing off my forehead. “ Jerk. “
“ Trick or Treat !” a small voice called from between the junipers.
We all turn to watch as Bunnie hopped out, fell on his face, sat back up ,weaving about. He shook his head, rolling his eyes in circles. A small cone strapped over his nose and mouth.
I snorted. “ Ha ! You’re Dennis !”
Bunnie hopped. Stepped in a hole and fell face first again. Quickly sat back up and said, “It’s ok. I’m fine. OH! Mouses!” He began to run in circles, stumbling , pressing the cone to the ground.
Dennis looked over at him, head cocked to the side, mice dangling from his limps. “ Hey! I don’t do that.”
” Oh, you totally do.” laughed Rhey.
Everyone giggled at Bunnie’s antics.
One of the mice hanging from Dennis’s lips squeaked , “ Dude.. You Absolutely do that.”
Dennis growled, but the growl loosened his grip on the mice, who all leap for freedom, scattering in all directions. The coyote pounced at the closest. His foot sinking in a gopher hole, his face planting into the ground leaving him with a snoot full of mud. He sat back on his haunches, shaking his head. Eyes, once again, slowly rolling side to side seemingly independent of each other. Dennis sheepishly grin. ” Ummm.. yeah.. I totally do.”
The kids burst out in laughter once again, including the mice hiding behind Bunnie, who stepped to the side as hey snatched them up, handing them back to Dennis. A collective sigh from the mice, knowing they were busted hung from Dennis’s lips again, wee arms crossed as they swung back and forth.
Overhead, came a CawCawing of crows.. I watched Huggin lift his wing over his eyes and sigh. “ You invited the crows? Really?”
“ Well….. “ said Rhey, with a smirk. “ They are part of the gang up here..Oh.. and you Are related.”
“ Not by choice, and very shirt-tailed at that..Oh well, they would have heard the noise and come anyway.” Huggin said, his shoulders sagging.
Ginny, Jutu and Knisten circled over the group, arguing as they flew ever lower.
“ We’re bats.” Ginny snapped at Jutu.
“ No we’re not. We’re crows. I know we’re crows.” He replied.
“ For Halloween dork.” Knisten shot back at him.
“ I just want treats…… and we’re crows.” Jutu glared at his flight mates.
The three, squabbling amongst one another landed in the crowd, pecking at each other.
Everyone stood, quiet, watching the ruckus, smiles fading.
I slipped my hand into my bag, pulled out a pine cone and chucked it at the crows, nailing Jutu who rolled over, legs in the air.
“ I’m dead! He kilt me. I’m dead.” Jutu cried out , his legs kicking in the air, tongue slipping to the side.
Ginny and Knisten waddled over to him, staring.
“ Well… Hurry up then.” Ginny squawked. Her beady eye inches from his face. “ We don’t have all day and if you’re going to die, I am a little hungry.”
Jutu flipped over , leaping to his feet. “ What? What? You were going to eat me?” Bouncing on his toes as he waved his wings, turning in circles. “ What? What?”
Ginny grin, saying patiently ,” Meat is meat, and you were always a bother.. Soooooo… You dead or you alive?”
“Well.. I don’t want to be eaten so alive.”
“Ok then…Hi Da.. We’re bats!”
” Batty maybe. ” Murmured Munnin to Huggin who was nodding sagely.
The kids started chatting again, running about and playing reindeer games….. as no one knew any pumpkin games.
Lass, all fluffed up, was sitting on her perch over by Ma, the two of them chatting.
Our Girl, slowly wandered over to join their little group. Munnin, hopped across the deck to join with the rest of the girls. Rhey not far behind, slowly climbing the stairs of the deck to curl up by Ma’s feet on the porch.
Dennis was whispering to the mice in his teeth as they animatedly attempted to talk him out of eating them later.
Jake sat between Dennis’s paws, staring up at Dennis and the mice, occasionally licking his lips, causing the mice even more concern as they pointed down at the little Bobcat and squeaked frantically .
Lil Buck nosed Jake. “ What are the mice on about?”
“ I don’t know. I don’t speak mouse, I just eat them.” Jake said, grinning up at the mice. The one mouse squeaking and tugging at his tail between Dennis’s lips.
Huggin and I stood on the edge of the deck, watching all the little groups talking, playing or arguing.
A group of bunnies came racing through, young quail hot on their tails. Stinkie not far behind, obviously playing Tag… Or possibly simply because Stinkie …well… is.
More of the deer were casually coming in closer, grazing, trying not to look too excited at the party going on.
Finally, we all turn to look at the berm as a few dozen heads suddenly popped up from over the edge. The cows of a small elk herd were watching us all. We could hear..and see.. them whispering when a large calf leap up and came trotting in.
Shawni came in, grinning. ” I made it! Mama said no, but, I talked my aunties into bringing the herd over anyway.” She swung her nose towards the berm, pointing. All the cows heads disappearing in a flash, only to have one at a time pop back up, whispering starting up again.
“ And what are you dressed up as?” I asked the giant calf.
“ I’na Ninja! Hachachacha!” She laughed back.
I looked at her. She jumped , “ Oh! Sorry! I forgot!.” She swung a black bandana around her neck.
“ Ooooohhh K..” Said Huggin with some doubt.
“ Good enough.” I said, nudging Huggin with my toe.
“ Ohh, yeh.. I see it now.” Huggin sighed as he roll his eyes.
I tossed her an apple.
“ Oh! My Fav! How did you know?”
“ Lucky guess… and that is pretty much the only treats I have.” I laughed.
Off to the side, apart from everyone, we heard a “ Hey! A little help over here. I’m stuck!. My rattles are stuck!”
Huggin looked up to me. “ Well, I aint gonna tug on him.”
“Ah.. yeh… So, Micro, If we try to help you, you might bite us.”
Micro Spike rolled his eyes as he hissed.” No no.. I am on a strictly no biting the helpers diet today.”
Ginny piped up. “ I’ll do it!”
“ Yeh! We’ll do it.” called Jutu.
A panicked look crossed over Micro as he looked to be mouthing Please
I chuckled softly.. ” well.. ok.. I got this guys.” I walked over to Micro Spikes apple, lifting it carefully and lay it on the ground, rolling it to its side.
“ Um.. yeh ok.. fine..” The little rattle snake hissed as he started tugging his way out, anchoring in the grass.” THAT was helpful.”
“ Hey. You got out.. whiner.”
Micro curled up, hissing and rattling his tail.
“ Aaaaaaaaaannd thus is why no more help than you got little Dude.”
He sat, curled, pouting.” Whatever.”
The skies darkening, several of the kids took off to go home before the night crew started.
Soon, Rhey and I were the only ones still waiting for the night time light show when Rhey turn to me.
“ You know it doesn’t start until some time after midnight right?”
“ Wait.. What?” I said as I look to her.
“ Oh yeh. No lights till late tonight.”
“ Welllll.. I guess I’ll check back in later. Getting cold out.”
Rhey shrugged.” I’ll let you know if I am still around the house when they come out.”
“ Any reason to yack at night, right Rhey?”
“ I always have a reason.. Some times it’s just to annoy you.” She smiled back at me as she trotted off.
I look around the fields and meadows. All the kids gone, skies dark and the wind was brisk. Shivering, I got up and walked into the house.
The week went by fast. I got several things done on the getting ready for winter front. Changing rigs over, putting chains on the Sami for the bad days and studs on the jeep so that she is ready. I’ll have to pick up gas for them.. and my Truck though the only change for her was throwing a space heater in her that I plug in once things start freezing or the door will never open, plus, bonus.. it’ll be warm in there while I am warming the engine.
More herbs were harvested and dried… Now I just have to make time still to do the last of the canning.. and more blanching tomatoes.. and drying peppers. I’ll have to run out to the garden to see if I have anything else worth harvesting before we get a real freeze.
The lasagna Ma made up lasted a few days, which we relished… Lasagna as well as turkey go pretty fast when we cook them up as we don’t do either very often so when we do, there is no complaining about leftovers….Not that we Ever complain about leftovers…That’s how we have lived for a very long time when you are gone from the house more hours a day than home and few days with time enough to actually enjoy cooking. Now with me home, I try to make smaller meals as we don’t have to rush prep to eat.. But not having anything in the fridge is bad.. Still need fast lunches…and , well, still enjoy leftovers..
The cheese cake went even quicker. We don’t have desserts up here often, so it is another great treat.. No Fast Foods, no home delivery, no prepackaged anything up here. No bagging some pop up doughs etc…
The freezers are stuffed and I still need to grind more pork for burger.. I should still have some time… I also need to see if the store will get any organic turkeys this year. Ma can only eat organic meats or it is a Very bad thing.. and no beef whatsoever Bison yes, beef no.. Wild meats? oh hell yeh…Just nothing that has been poked and prodded to make it fat fast.. her system won’t take it. We get a single shot at turkeys for the entire year…and it is seldom that we can get them. We put our names in for a couple with the store the last time they were coming in…and they forgot and sold them all… We’ll see if we luck out this year.. and I need to make room. If we could get a couple we would be back in business. Basically, one for the freezer and one for Turkey time.. As Ma always works holidays, we hit whichever weekend to do the turkey.. then stock and can…
Well.. we did see the light show after all… It took until 2am for me to get any pics.. and they weren’t that great.. We had a bank of clouds in the spot they show up… The whole friggin night sky was clear except there.. Finally at 2am, I went out to check, and we had freezing rain. I tossed my hands up to just give up when I saw the lights, if just barely.
Grabbing my camera, I set up the tripod under the canopy of the Porch. I pretty much just hoped for the best and sorta aimed.. too dark to see anything in the view finder. It was nice to see that at least I had some type of pics from it all, even if they weren’t great.
We also had a couple planets together earlier in the eve, though they also didn’t show up all that well. They were flashing in the sky. In the picture they look pretty much like the stars.
We did have a few nice sunrises during the week however which I was able to get a few more pics of.
I was also lucky enough to get a couple pictures of allllllll the pics I took of the elk herd turn out.. Glad I got them when I did. The owners of the 3k property next to us are out hunting today so probably wont see them again for awhile
I also got another very nice picture of the elk herd in the Fall colors up here.. even had a buck pop up right as I took the pic… That’s one I am going to try to do something with as it turned out very nice…
With staying up waaaaaaayyyyy past my bed time last night, I am running a little on empty today so with the short story , I think it is time to wrap things up..
Looking out my widow as I write, Lass keeps peaking in to see how things are coming along. She always likes to read stories about herself and the kids. Our deer lay about out in the fields, not much caring about any elk hunters, and as there is only a couple guys in a single rig….. and last we saw, no where near the herd, all is quite quiet and simply
Just another day on Zen Mountain