The Woods behind our Home
This morning I walked in the woods, leaving the house for the third time, since Scott has been gone.
Last night, I felt a push to go into the forest. This morning I answered the message.
I got up at 5 a.m., brewed a pot of coffee, finishing off a piece of banana nut muffin my sister had baked from Scott's bananas, I started writing my first two posts of the day for this blog.
At 7:30 am, I felt it was time to go for my walk. I left by the front door following the trail to the woods, leaving myself no expectations except hope that I would finally encounter the bears that I know live in this forest. I wasn't afraid, I pictured myself sitting on a log as we looked at each other from a short distance.
Continuing to walk through the woods, I followed the sunrise, the bright light penetrating the trees, illuminating the fall colors of the valley below. I came upon a ledge and stood silent, listening for animals. Searching for the scent of bear, my sister told me it's a musky scent. They know the scent well. Years ago, one of the black bears entered through their open sliding glass door, my brother in law found him on top of the dining room table.
After standing in silence for several minutes, I turned around to follow the trail back home. On the way, I stopped, feeling that something was out there for me to see, I looked at another trail going off towards the left. I could see for quite a way from my vantage point. I stood still. Within seconds, I spotted a flash of tawny brown thick fur, the back of a large animal, scurrying fast down the trail heading through the woods to the valley below. A mountain lion. My second sighting, the first being in the hills above Tomales with my middle sister ten years ago. This lion was small, gliding down the hill, I could feel her wanting to make it home as fast as possible before the sun rose over the valley revealing all who want to be hidden from people during the day. Later, this morning, my baby sister would tell me, "yes, there is a small mountain lion that lives here, the neighbor's dog chased it off the other day."
I waited for a few minutes to see if the lion would appear again until I heard a rustle of leaves. Turning around I spotted a stag looking out from behind the woods at me. I softly spoke to him. Greeting him. Thanking him for being here and showing himself to me.
The stag this morning looking at me, camouflaged in the trees and leaves
I asked him to come closer, so I could see him and take a photo. He slowly walked through the woods reaching a clearing revealing himself through the cover of woods and fall leaves. I took photos, breathing in the scent of wood fire stoves in the distance, the sound of a barking dog earlier, now silenced. I turned continuing my walk back home, up the mountain trail.
I stopped a little ways up to catch my breath, turning around, I noticed the stag following me, and then after a few steps, he disappeared back into the woods.
Stag in movement through the woods