Saturday, June 22, 2013

Ribbon-dancing Whales

"Look darling, it says here that Haro Straight
is 900 feet deep in places."
We were reading the signs at Lime Kiln state park
that we had read hundreds of time before
but it didn't stop us from the excitement
of reading them again.
Terry strolled over and read the sign again.
We milled around in the early morning with
a few other orca fans around the viewing area waiting.
The only thing that teaches you more patience
than waiting for the whales is probably the
Department of Motor Vehicles.
We watched as the other couple hiked over to the point
at the little lighthouse and contemplated
going over there.
"I'm going down to the rocks now." I said.
I clambered carefully down the jagged,
slippery boulders and found my favorite spot under the
viewing platform. I pulled my jacket around
my neck against the chill and sat on my little backpack.
I could hear voices as more people arrived
and picked out Terry's voice as
they swapped whale stories.
The pitch of all their voices went up and
I strained to see the orcas.
I picked out a fin and waited.
And waited and waited and waited.
The large male was some distance out
but at last I could pick out the females coming
closer and closer and closer.
My heart started pounding and I made sure I
was sitting securely, lest I topple
over in my excitement and fall in.
My eyes widened as the lead female rose at my feet.
I exclaimed my orca greeting and watched.
Staring down into the dark water I watched
as she began to rotate at my feet.
Long strands of green kelp wrapped around her
shiny white tummy in a shocking contrast.
Her long, sleek black back was so inviting
and I longed to jump in and pet her.
Twirling and swirling and showing off.
That's how they are!
My beauty was followed by four more darling whales.
Swirling and twirling and showing off.
Because, that's how they are!
Ribbon-dancing whales.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Cougars Snack on the Meatiest Ones

"See that moss hanging down honey?"
I starred at the trees engulfing either side
of the damp trail.
"That's the kind I want to grow at home
but it looks exactly what we have at home
only it drapes down like that."
I stopped and turned around to look
at my husband.
As usual his expression was blank
because he hadn't heard a word I said.
Nothing new there.
So I continued my slow pace down the winding trail
and admired the moss hanging down from the trees.
I admired the thick moss covering the downed logs
all along the sides of the trail
with their baby hemlocks
and huckleberry bushes popping out occasionally.
I admired the moss under my feet and
wondered if the person who invented olive green
shag carpeting had hiked through the
Olympic National Park rainforest.
"Oh look Terry, there's a trail going
down to the creek. Let's go down there."
I started down the steep deer trail,
careful not to fall or twist an ankle.
Half walking and half sliding and clinging
to a wimpy tree branch, I landed on the
flat, muddy ground and looked at the tiny
brook that I needed to leap over to
get to the pebbly beach. I backed up, ran,
and leaped to the other side and then
turned around to watch Terry.
He annoyingly took one big step to
come up next to me.
"Pretty." He said.
We walked a dozen feet to a nice big mossy log
and sat down side by side
and listened to the sounds of the swirling water
and birds singing.
It was early afternoon and the sun played through
the trees along the under-forest and dirt
and pebbles and finally sand.
I looked at the sand beneath my feet
and noticed all the deer prints.
My hand slid over to Terry's thigh
and I thought maybe a kiss would be nice.
Just as I was gathering steam for
some romance he answered me.
"Not that one. That's a cougar track."
I dimly remembered the handwritten sign
that I had seen taped to the front of the
sign in desk at Kalaloch Lodge that said
"Cougar sighted 6/8."
I stared down at the print that looked exactly
like it was made by the paws of Troy's cat Cloudy.
Only about a hundred times bigger.
I got up abruptly and said,
"Let's go."
I was so grateful for Terry.
I knew for certain that
cougars snack on the meatiest ones.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Mombie Like Zombie

I was looking at some old pictures
of Troy going to prom the other day.
Gorgeous girls in evening gowns
that I'd know since they were in
kindergarten with him.
I looked over at Troy and Teddy
shooting zombies on the TV
and shook my head.
Sure we all like The Walking Dead
and don't want zombies to take over the world.
But really, where are the girls?
Once a year I nag Troy about it
only to get the same answer.
"They're too expensive and complicated mom."
I looked back down at the photograph of the
beautiful girl.
Silky hair, shining eyes, big smile.
That's when it hit me.
I want grandchildren.
I looked over at Teddy and said,
"How 'bout you Teddy?
I'd like you to marry someday
cause I won't always be here."
He glanced over at me for a split second and said,
"When you die can we reanimate you as a Mombie?"