Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Goat, Fiction or Fantasy?

Years of questing for animals has proved both fulfilling and rewarding. We have for the most part been successful and pleased with the end result of all our quests; however, one mystical creature has gone to great lengths to avoid us. Time and time again we head for the mountains with the hollow promise of a sighting of the elusive Mountain Goat. Year after year we put all of our passion and resources into these fruitless quests but every time we come up short. Always one step behind, always one day too late. Never quite far enough, never the right spot. These quests (if you will) seem dry and depressing but in all truth it is what drives us, what gives us the strength to rise every morning, what keeps our minds sharp and our hearts alive. This hope, this dream taught us to love and showed us what it means to fear. Never have man and beast been further apart yet so entwined. Every day we crawl from our bed our bodies weak and  usless our hearts about to burst but then like thunder on a dark clear night it cuts to our very souls... "This is it! This is why we struggle on! If not for them then why?! Shall we not continue in the journey that will ultimately be our destruction yet give us the peace we seek from the bitter quilt we sew?" And so it goes in life, day by day by day by day...

My friend with tiny feet

It was late... not too late really just a little late. Well late enough for it to be dark I suppose but hardly time to be feeling drowsy. Nothing about tonight was special... or so I thought for in fact tonight I would encounter the best friend a man could ever have. As I was out walking I noticed something big (wombo even!) fluttering wildly out of control in my peripheral vision. Having decent peripheral vision (a fact I don't often brag about) I quickly assessed what the creature was and after gaining my composure began to pursue it. Being alone without any form of backup I knew I would only have one shot at this and failure in this sort of instance is far from excusable in my circles. I crouched, poised, every muscle in my body tensed (except a few I suppose because quite frankly there are certain muscles that just add nothing to a good crouch). I took off my shirt knowing that it was my only tool and could very well be the difference between success and failure at this point. In one epic heave I threw my body forward encompassing the beast in my trusty tank top. Sweat, glistening off my back in the moonlight, I wrestled the beautiful and terrible creature to the ground and let out a dominant cry of victory like only men know how. There I lay frozen, not sure what to do next knowing that the battle was only half over. Finally with all the caution an accountant can muster I loosed my grip on my shirt. Peeking into the small opening I had made I looked on longingly at my trophy. There, restlessly trapped in the folds was not only a moth but the biggest moth I had ever laid eyes on! I hurried back to my room and without hesitation took the majestic wonder out of his enclosure loosing him on my forearm to explore me. He stood, perfectly still, his tiny moth heart pounding faster (I am quite sure) than a moth heartbeat generally does. We looked into each other's eyes and found a friendship truer than most. Then, in a flash, he fluttered off of my arm only to land on my bare back. I could feel his tiny feet dancing all over the fleshy expanse as he chased from mole to mole with a spring in his step. I was for the first time in my life, truly happy. However I was filled with a great sadness at the knowledge that this could never last. 

(moths have very short life spans and cannot eat after they emerge from their cocoon. their only purpose at this stage of development is to reproduce and to deprive my brother of the night of this glory would be treacherous)

I walked out to the balcony, took one last longing look at him and watched as he spread his massive wings (obscuring the two hands I was holding him with). He took flight and as quickly as it had begun it was over. With a mighty fist pump and a wild cry I saw him off; back into the night, back into the wild, back where he belonged! 

Monday, February 8, 2010

Seal Pursuit

The waves came crashing over the front of our raft; we dug our paddles deep beneath the surface of the water. The air was cold, but the sun warmed our backs as we made our way out into the kelp field. We had long been searching for the beautiful creature that swam in the bays near the Seattle shoreline. As we surveyed the surrounding waters, the small head of a harbor seal surfaced; its glowing eyes made contact with mine and then it dove beneath the waves. “Stroke, stroke!!!” he called to me, we battled with all our might in pursuit of the majestic seal. The sun was setting as we continued our chase, sweat glistening on our backs.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sea Otters in Lake Union.

The other night while messing about in my raft with two dear friends of mine, I came upon one of the most exciting Seattle wildlife sightings to date. We were paddling down the canal towards the locks in a small inflatable raft eating powdered donettes and singing all manner of rowing songs and pirate shanties. As our "man night" was coming to a close and we were looking for a good spot to head for shore I saw what I thought was a beaver of the starboard side of our humble ship. To my surprise and delight it was so much more than a beaver. It was an otter with two little friends. They frolicked about in the water around us for a few solid minutes before diving below the surface leaving us tense with excitement and raw with emotion. Our otter friends were truly a treat and nothing that I knew could be found in the city.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Give and Take

Lick, Lick, Lick…. I glance over at the clock; it shows 2:00 am. I lean out of my third story window, “Ned, what the heck man?” The purve raccoon glances up at me from the edge of the roof; his beaty little eyes have no remorse in them. I climb back into bed only to hear the sounds of the disrespectful creature cleaning himself once again! I have long dealt with this animal of the woods and city, he is my friend and yet this friendship takes its toll on my mental health. When one associates with such creatures they give up some of their humanity, yet I gain so much more from this intimate communion!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Spirit Guide

It was a cold clear night and I was on my way home from work. I was a little tired and ready to get home to have some wheat thins and cheese before crawling into bed. I was getting close to my house driving a little over the speed limit on a side road near Queen Anne Bowl when a coyote ran in front of my car forcing me to slam on my brakes. To my surprise and delight the wild animal,  unphased by this close call, stood right next to my car and calmly looked up at me. We starred into each others' eyes and a bond stronger than friendship quickly formed. As I began to drive again the coyote trotted alongside my car occasionally glancing over at me. Eventually the call of the wild became too much for me and I hastily parked my car hoping for a chance to get close to this glimpse of nature. The animal, which I decided on the spot was my spirit guide, or at least it would have been were I a native american, split off into a nearby park and I followed at a run. I was able to get within about 15 feet of the animal and together we romped through the park for what may have been the most passion filled moments of my life thus far. Eventually it became clear to us both that we had to return to our respective worlds. I stood in awe of the majestic beast before me. There he stood, perched on a hill not more than 10 feet from me, silhouetted by the moonlight. With a quick bark he darted into some underbrush and as quickly as it had begun, it was over. I began to walk back to my car knowing that this night I had done more than spot an animal in the city, I had become a man.