Doesn’t that sound like some bizarre parallel of life? There you are in your L.L. Bean boots, sprayed head-to-foot with anti-bug glop. You don’t know what’s worse — the big heavy boots with your jeans tucked into the tops, or the slime all over your body.

That anti-bug spray is icky.

But you aren’t going into the woods without it, that for sure. The last time you decided to take a little walk in your own back yard — and much as this seems like a jungle from an old Universal Studios moved (circa early 1950s maybe?), it’s yours. You bought the land. And today, you are going to explore it.

You should have done this early in the spring, before all the clawing blackberry trees were up. Before those wolf spiders were eyeing you from their woodsy nests. Those things are so damned big and while in theory, the worst they can do is bite you — and they aren’t poisonous — you are pretty sure you’re going to have a heart attack if one gets anywhere near you.

Do you need gloves too? Maybe a hat?

It’s 80 degrees and the bug spray is forming rivulets with your own sweat. Grab the camera. Maybe you’ll see something beautiful. Probably not, but who knows? You’ve already met the bobcat and the fisher and the coyotes and the deer. Bunnies and raccoons. Snakes. Lizards. Millions of mice and rude chipmunks.

This was farmland. You know because between the trees, there are stone fences which once defined fields. The farms are 100 years gone. Today, it’s your own backyard. Which you’ve never explored because there’s no path, plenty of thorns, and trillions of mosquitoes.

Finally, you look around: “Who is coming with me?” That’s when you notice that your exploration group are lying on lawn chairs. Drinking coke, beer, and lemonade.

“Too hot,” says Michelle.

“I’m all sweaty in my shorts and tee,” points out your granddaughter. “No way am I wearing all that stuff. Give it up Granny.”

Are they laughing at you? No reason why not because you are laughing at you.

And so another year of non-exploration passes. Whatever lives exist out there shall remain undisturbed by human traffic. If snakes undulate in the undergrowth besides the giant rocks? Go in peace, scaly friends. It’s your world.

Pass the lemonade.


  1. swo8 January 10, 2018 / 2:02 pm

    You can’t fight it, probably best left in the wild.


    • Marilyn Armstrong January 10, 2018 / 2:06 pm

      There is no path through the woods. The ground is VERY rough. Lots of gullies and rocks and a million blackberry thickets that are evil. It’s why we never get any blackberries. Only the birds are brave enough to go in after them. If you take a very long looping walk, you can get down to the flat part in the middle. I did that once, in the early spring BEFORE the mosquitoes — which was also before the blackberries. It’s just a woods and if the leaves had been on the trees, I would have gotten lost immediately. The only way I could find my way back was to look for the top of the teepee over the trees. It’s not a very civilized woods. Not like Pooh Bear’s woods at all.

      Liked by 2 people

      • swo8 January 10, 2018 / 3:24 pm

        Ah Pooh Bear’s woods – how delightful. Wild is nice.


      • Garry Armstrong January 11, 2018 / 12:43 pm

        I’ll skip the woods and bugs, thank you.


    • Marilyn Armstrong January 10, 2018 / 2:08 pm

      It is beautiful, but better from a distance. Not made for walking. We did want to create a walk, but the ground is so unforgiving, hard, rocky and full of tree roots, we put in a little path near the house and gave up on the rest. Even my granddaughter in her 4-wheeler couldn’t get through. So we can look at it, but we really can’t go there. There’s even a small pond way in the back that I can see in the winter when the sun catches it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Covert Novelist January 10, 2018 / 2:47 pm

    It is inviting but “go prepared” is the message I heard, hehe. Really enjoyed this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. angloswiss January 10, 2018 / 3:03 pm

    You could charge entrance fees for tourists and take them on guided walks, give them a questionnaire where they can tick off the various insects they see and the winner can take a spider home. There are untold possibilities. At caterpillar time a competition for who collects the most. I am sure it will overtake Disneyland in popularity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong January 10, 2018 / 5:38 pm

      I get the shivers even thinking of it. We really have bugs ohmygod BUGS. Mosquitoes who should be the state bird and spiders who could take on a raccoon.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Taswegian1957 January 10, 2018 / 4:44 pm

    It sounds a little like the Wild Woods in The Wind in the Willows but maybe populated by a lost tribe of UPS men who went in there to hide your packages. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong January 10, 2018 / 5:37 pm

      You mean the guys in the shredded brown uniforms with wild eyes looking for a way out? Whenever I think I hear someone in the house, I will think of them. Now THAT would make a GREAT post!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong January 10, 2018 / 5:36 pm

      It is cool. It is surprisingly rough for a backyard. I think it’s because we’re on a ledge, so right after the the backyard ends, there’s a deep drop. Many creatures live there and they like to visit us, scaring the crap out of us by just showing up. Bobcats like to hang out on our roof, then drop down onto the deck next to you, then take one leap to the lawn … like 30 feet below. MAN those cats can jump! Then there’s the fisher who likes to sunbathe on the lawn and the chipmunks who chitter at us all the time and try to take on the dogs, too. And the wild turkey’s who attack the car. Ah, the country. But you have the glorious sand cranes, so you win!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Martha Kennedy January 10, 2018 / 6:58 pm

        Naw I live in a neighborhood OK it ends a block away but the creatures are invisible unless it snows or I venture out


        • Marilyn Armstrong January 10, 2018 / 7:07 pm

          The local critters seem to be getting less and less afraid of us. The fishers are really interesting. They look like mink and have a coat like mink and used to be hunted like mink, but in the past decade, they’ve come back to the valley. Ditto American Eagles. The coyotes are about ready to move in with the dogs. They are getting ever more doglike. The bobcats sleep in our shed and under our porch and tease the dogs. I worry most about the raccoons. They are huge and strong and they can easily take down a dog three times their size. Some of the big ones are well over 50 pounds and if they want to soak up a little sun on your lawn, you salute and retreat.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Garry Armstrong January 11, 2018 / 12:45 pm

            Maybe we have gold or oil back in them woods. Maybe, baby.


Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s