Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What We Do Not See

I took that picture on my walk this morning. It is of the old, hidden graveyard in the woods. Every time I visit that place, it seems different to me than the time before and not in a way that can be easily explained by the changing season.
Anyway, there it is and it is a beautiful and restful place, I think.

I also saw a fox on my walk. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something which registered as different in a field of blackberries and weeds and I stopped and it was a fox. He was huge, as foxes go, and he saw me and for that one timeless second, we looked at each other, eye-to-eye, a wild thing and a domesticated one. It seems to me that there may well be a communication in these quick eye meetings. There is certainly a great deal of cognition going on in both parties.
He seemed rather bold to me in that he did not dash away immediately upon seeing me but held his ground as he held his gaze. I, not really afraid of foxes but seeing no reason to disturb him, turned and walked the other way. I have plenty of options as to where I can walk and he seemed intent on something in that field. Probably a rabbit he had caught. I have seen them too, but they always dart away after their initial freezing upon recognizing my presence.

I am always amazed when I think of the number of creatures we share our world with, mostly completely unbeknownst to us. It is only the rare encounter which reminds me. There is so much to this world that we move in that we are in complete ignorance of. I try to humbly remember as I walk down the dirt path and through the woods that I may well be being observed by an animal with watchful, thoughtful eyes, that behind a stand of overgrown bushes and a line of trees, there may well be the bones of humans lying quietly beneath the dirt.


  1. We have rabbits in the wild space and our neighbor's brush pile. I haven't seem them yet this year, well, I saw one darting to safety out of the corner of my eye. I'm glad they aren't visiting the garden this year. Too much farmland here for foxes I think. I don't even know if we had foxes here. You know what I miss? When I was a kid growing up at the edge of woods and everyone's property was very woodsy we would scare up jack rabbits. I miss the jack rabbits.

  2. Wow. Cool encounter.

    I like the graveyard too. It's nice that it has shade.

    Sorry about the yard. Rumor has it Gen is going to hire Jr to come out with his tractor... ugh.

  3. I remember seeing a fox when it was foggy outside (after a rain, in the evening) in Tallahassee, near where I lived. I appeared to have blood on its mouth. Maybe it was my imagination, but that's what it looked like. I never forgot him. It was kind of the same thing as your situation, where we stared at each other. There's more...maybe I'll write about it someday.

  4. Oh I love this. It gives me delicious shivers. And it's nice, to remember that I am not always the watcher.

    Once or twice in Denver, when we lived by a park, I looked out my window late at night to see a fox loping silently beneath the street lights. It's not a sight you forget.

  5. I LOVED this. And definitely, totally, love you.

  6. We are different than these animal creatures but we are one in sharing this space with them and it is cool to peacefully co-exist - in most cases. Sweet Jo

  7. Well, that was gorgeous prose. I feel as if I've seen a fox, and it was the first time for me.

  8. I love the graveyard! Amazing! Are there inscriptions on the stones? How old is it and who's buried there?

    As for the fox, I usually try to steer clear of them. They ARE wild and they can be rabid. They're like raccoons that way. But they're cool to see from a distance.

  9. I lived in a remote Eskimo village with my border collie mix Selma, and it was interesting to watch her change from Oregon farm puppy to wild Alaska dog. Though, being a border collie, she was always more civilized than me, and saved my stupid ass from everything from moose to bears to porcupines in the face.

    One year there were foxes in the nearby hills and they would bark so communicatively. One morning I let Selma out and there was a fox very close to the house. Selma was fox size and had a bushy tail, and that fox was so confused about this black fox coming out of a house. It barked at Selma, a "are you one of us?" And Selma barked back, "I'm not sure." She looked at me, she looked at the fox, she looked out across the frozen ocean and at the frozen caribou skeleton she had dragged home the day before. The fox kept trying to get her to join him, but she chose me. Something changed in our relationship that day, though.

  10. Which of you was domesticated?

  11. Lovely, lovely. I'm soaking it all in too, paying attention. Just finished reading Prodigal Summer and I miss that book terribly. It opened my eyes even further, as if that were possible. Thanks for letting us see what you see.

  12. When I was younger, I dreamed of foxes. I think they are my totem animal. This is a beautiful moment, thank you for sharing it. In Pennsylvania, there is a graveyard you have to walk through to reach the river. I always loved browsing through the lives. They've never scared me. They really do seem at rest.

  13. Ellen Abbott- The less wildlife there is, the poorer we are.

    Ms. Fleur- It's just a yard. But Lord, there must be bugs over there. They did fix the porch swing!

    Nicol- Do!

    Vesuvius- They look so much like dogs but so definitely are not.

    SJ- Well that makes me happy. I love you too.

    Sweet Jo- My goal is to always coexist peacefully. Unless they start stealing my chickens, of course.

    Elizabeth- They say you never forget your first time.

    Steve Reed- Yes. The markings are pretty good on the stones. They go back pretty far. I'll have to go and recheck that because I've forgotten. Early 1800's?

    NOLA- That's an amazing story.

    Madame King- Good damn question, my dear.

    Mel- Thank YOU for letting me tell you about it.

    Rachel- The dead never bother me. They are so very quiet.

  14. Nice to live in a place where we can see so much wildlife. I am amazed by what I have seen in my life so far.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.