This past weekend I stumbled upon a little hideaway where somebody was living. I was drawn to the spot after seeing a pink balloon in the brush. I hiked in to check it out and saw a rolled up air mattress. It freaked me out a little at first, of course my first thought being there’s a body hidden in there! Well, there was no body, just the air mattress and a faded pink birthday balloon. I turned to see a pink Disney princess sleeping bag hanging over a bent tree to dry. It was soggy, dirty and very worn. As I turned more I saw a tarp on the ground and some items that most would have assumed were trash, but I figured they were the only possessions this person/family had left. I clicked the camera and climbed through the brush to get out of there as quickly as I could. I felt an odd and unusual emotional sensation, like I accidentally saw into somebody’s dismal misfortune. I wanted to cry. I didn’t look back.
I walked onward to one of my favorite sections of the greenbelt, about half way between Quinn’s Pond and Veteran’s Park. There’s this massive stone bench I perch myself upon to immerse my thoughts deep into the Boise River. Her banks still overflowing beyond restraint, I wonder when she’s going to gain back control or if this will be her new normal. Then I asked her in a subdued raspy whisper Do YOU believe in me? Do YOU know if I do it? I feel I CAN do it, the thru-hike! I KNOW I can do it! Why couldn’t I? WHAT CAN STOP ME? And then I waited, listening for her answer that I’d never hear. I laid back on the cold stone and smiled at the sky. I thought how grateful am I that the flock of geese overhead didn’t drop a turd on me.
What I really like about springtime is not that winter’s over, it’s that so much is reborn! The scents were heavy, sweet, and floral. I could have easily become intoxicated by them and lulled into a nap in the warm grass. I didn’t though in fear of somebody thinking I may have passed out or worse, dead!
Peace, my loves, wherever your journey takes you! ~ Dawn
Remember the scene from the movie Into the Wild when Chris thought he was eating one type of plant, but instead in his excitement of finding something he thought was edible, ate the one that, with all tragic irony, caused him to starve to death?
This is a different book than the one he used. What I like about this book is that it’s got some good information on edible plants, including where they grow, their preparation, stages of the plant’s life, the seeds, nutritional and medicinal values, as well as tastes and smells. It also includes tidbits about when the good plants are bad to eat and which plants not to eat, like the toxic and deadly ones. The author added some interesting lore for the plants in the book too. BUT with hand drawn one dimensional images, I have some trouble with the descriptive data! However, it only cost me a buck at a thrift store, is the 4th edition 2nd printing published in 1997, and it has a damn catchy title.
What disappointed about this book (other than the illustrations) is that it was only about plants. I was hoping it included insects, fish, fowl, and game. And reptiles and amphibians. And worms and shit. And color photographed images. And in a pocketbook size. My search continues.
I walk along the Boise River Greenbelt trails at least once a week for at least an hour and a half while taking various routes and visiting the adjoining parks. I really enjoy seeing the waterfowl, squirrels, and people with their poochies enjoying outdoor recreational activities. Mostly, though, I like listening to the river and watching it churn as it rushes by. It’s really soothing to be near and contrary to my initial fears about being so close to it, it doesn’t make me have to pee all the time.
The heavy near-record snowfall we had this winter along with some heavy spring rains have caused the Boise River to raise the point that many of the trails beside the banks were flooded and closed. And evidently there are city codes about making poor decisions along the river in these conditions too, had you survived them!
Soon the waters will recede and the trees will be overwhelming green with blooming allergens and I’ll go back to this trash can along the paved path and take another picture for comparison.
I woke early so I went for a long walk on the greenbelt and around some of the connecting parks. I was mindful of the barricades and avoided the areas where the river had flooded over the pathway. The ponds were filled with lots of noisy activity: ducks, geese, loons… I even saw a man on a single seater inflatable pontoon doing some early morning fly fishing. There is so much going on with nature in the early part of the day when few people are bustling about. Next time I’m an early bird I’m bringing my old bird book and cheap vintage binoculars. And my camera. I mean, why not? Maybe even some coffee in a thermos, hearty oat muffins, and a friend or three! Alright, I seem have next Saturday morning perfectly planned out!