“There lie the woods of Lothlorien!” said Legolas. “That is the fairest of all the dwellings of my people. There are no trees like the trees of that land. For in the autumn their leaves fall not, but turn to gold.”

J.R.R. Tolkein, “The Fellowship of the Ring”

This is one of the roads I love to visit here locally.

At just the right time of year, there are a few golden days during which, if you look down the road to where it starts to bend, you can’t be sure whether or not the pavement has turned to packed dirt and becomes the entrance to the lands of which Tolkien wrote so elegantly.

Is it?

I’ll never tell.

Who’s On First?

In the universe of Bad Karma, I’m apparently near the front of the “let’s make life a little more nasty than nice” line. I really did hope to start blogging regularly again. Unfortunately, that requires both a working computer and a working ISP. Since last Friday, both of our computers have been wonky, and both of our ISPs have been mostly down.

I’m viewing it as just another example of How The Universe Enjoys Picking On Me.


In hopes that both problems are now resolved to the point of limping along, I thought I’d give a bunny update.

BB the Bunny

BB is not only fine, she’s grown into a favorite of mine. She’s definitely from Stewart’s lineage: slightly smaller than average, with the patchy coloration from his line and quirky as can be. She also is easy to pick out from the horde (yes, we have a horde of bunnies–which is somewhat more than a litter and somewhat less than a thundering herd) as she has a little white crescent-shaped mark on her forehead. We’ve noticed that many of our bunnies have this as babies, but BB is the only one who hasn’t had hers shed out as she grew.

Michael asked me last week if perhaps Stewart had passed along a gene for “overly friendly wild bunny” to his descendents. I’m thinking maybe so…

Our bunnies are typical wild bunnies around neighbors and strangers that come into our yard, but are perfectly happy to hop all around us, to the point where we really do have to shoo them out of the way when we are doing things.

I told BB last week, when I was poking around under our spruce tree and she appeared, that she was supposed to hop away from the scary humans when they were doing something in the yard, not to hop TO me to investigate what I am doing. She yawned.


Then she proceeded to groom herself and finally hopped away several moments later to nibble on a patch of late clover.

Newest Young Bunny

We’ve had several other batches of bunnies arrive, and one of the latest also has the “friendly” gene in spades. I’ve named him “Dude,” as he is the most laid-back yard bunny to date. He’s so reluctant to move from “his” spot when I come across him that I’ve actually had to reach down and threaten to nudge his little rump to get him out of the way. As he hops off, he clearly slings over his shoulder, “Hey, Dude, what’s the deal? That was my spot!” Hence, his name.

We have one other, of the five originally in BB’s litter, who has also remained with us. We call her “Snug” as she likes to snuggle herself down into the grass. She has “radar” ears that are constantly moving from one direction to another, and has a particular fondness for Michael. She will sit on the stoop of his shop when he’s inside it, or snuggle down in the pathway from the house to the shop, wait there and then refuse to move when he appears. Me she just tolerates.

Most of the other bunnies from this year’s crop have hopped to other abodes, or been lost to predators when they made mistakes that left them vulnerable. If they hadn’t, we would be awash in bunnies by this point!

In terms of other regulars for this summer, we’ve had a redtail hawk that checks out the yard regularly, to the great consternation of the furry folk and the songbirds. We also have a Coopers hawk that flies through the yard at about shoulder height, scaring the bejabbers out of me every single time, and has even roosted on the back of one of our lawn chairs. The great horned owls are back, too, giving concerts, and with the oncoming winter I see bald eagles often.

And lest I forget to mention them, the Canada geese are starting to fly through in flocks that number in the hundreds, landing on the river to form gatherings of thousands of geese nightly. Two days ago a small flock flew so close to the house that I could hear the beat of their wings, and see individual feathers.

Oh, and one other thing… it’s already been snowing. Hasn’t stuck, yet, but it’s truly snowed–several times now.

That doesn’t bode well for a nice easy winter.

Almost Bought It

Yes, I haven’t been posting. No, I haven’t abandoned blogging. No, I haven’t been well, haven’t had the energy to spare to divert to blogging, and yes, I’ve missed all of you. And yes, I hope to now start blogging regularly again.

And finally, no, I really don’t want to talk about how badly the last three months have sucked. But I had a real adrenalin moment today which sort of typifies and sums up our lives recently and thought I’d share…

I was driving to a doctor’s appointment this afternoon, not a surprising destination, as that’s practically the only place I drive to in my spiffy adaptive-assisted car that we bought last year (making this the first year in twenty years that I’ve been able to drive a car anywhere).

We have a few fairly busy streets in our area, and I was heading towards a major intersection of a main local road with a major county road. It is a very high traffic intersection, with lots of semi-trucks, and is controlled by a set of traffic lights, not stop signs.

So I’ve got the green light, and I’m tooling towards it with some guy way too close on my butt who is in an SUV yakking on his cellphone, with yet another guy in an SUV behind him.

As I look at the cross traffic coming towards the intersection (having had back in ancient history a great 1-week long defensive driving course that the DOT used to offer for free, which gave you a nice fat insurance discount on completion and taught us to never never trust: always verify what’s supposed to be happening) I go, “Uh, Judy, listen to your gut… something’s not right here….”

So I slow down, and Mr. SUV Cellphone behind me comes RIGHT UP on my bumper and is flipping me the bird and yelling, and the guy behind him is weaving into the left turn lane trying to decide if he’s going to (illegally) pass us both in the left lane at the intersection because I’m now going way too slow for him, and as I keep looking at the intersection I realize…

The semi and three cars coming on the cross street aren’t slowing down. At all. And they should be because it’s a RED LIGHT, right? After all, I have a green light, and it’s been green, not just changed to green.

So, trusting my gut thoroughly at this point, I hit the brakes and the semi and three cars on the cross street roar RIGHT THROUGH THE FREAKIN’ LIGHT. And I look up at “their” light and…


Now, I look in the mirror because I haven’t been rear-ended, which surprised me as Mr. SUV was right on my rump (but remember, I’d been slowing down so that’s what probably warned the guy to pay a little more attention to driving and a little less to The Cellphone Conversation), and Mr. SUV has dropped his cellphone and, mouth agape, is obviously screaming (literally) “WTF!” …because if I hadn’t hit the brakes, he would have bought it along with me, by being broadsided by a semi and three cars, and he KNOWS it.

Can we say adrenalin rush? Because, hey, that was CLOSE.

I pulled completely off the road, and called 911. Told them what happened and they hustled the police out to handle the situation, and get it fixed.

Never, in all my life, have I encountered a traffic light that was green BOTH ways.

I never want to again.

It’s amazing what’s hiding in the ol’ subconscious that comes out in situations where you are a whisker away from dying. Remember, Oh Best Beloved, that I’ve lost two family members in the last nine years to two separate accidents involving big semis. So you know what? The first thing I yelled as that semi went barreling past wasn’t obscenities, an “OMG,” a prayer or anything else that I would have expected to come out of me.

You know what I yelled? Truly? Not making this up?