“Click it or ticket. Tick tick tick,” said the maple tree. “Tick tick tappit snap tick,” said the cherry tree opposite. Soon, many tiny tympany taps, some syncopated, some in rhythmic order, were sounding from the trees, especially those by the creek.
Silhouettes in the fog moved up the hillside, in line following the leader. Snow was beginning to fall, creating an even hazier aura — like peering through a veil into the past, because surely this was a small herd of veloci-type dinosaurs. Imagine them — walking stealthily on their powerful, springy legs.
Among the firefighting heroes, a broad-tailed variety deserves some credit. At least that was true last August during the Eagle Creek Fire. Compared with this summer’s onslaught, that 3,000-acre burn seems trivial, but it could have ignited much more, without the help of beavers!
Fields of salsify had taken over the meadows. Like seedy jellyfish, their globular mass of achenes, wisps of fiber, now clogged and floated on airy currents. Previously, a warp and weft of tall grasses — generations of growth and death — had matted the meadow ground, cushioning it against invading seeds, shading out any that dared to intrude.