A NIght with My Dog

6:34 p.m. on November 20, 2018 (EST)
ppine
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Last Thursday I went to a local campground in a Jeffrey pine forest.  I was the only person there with my dog Ruby Begonia for company.  After dinner around the campfire, the half moon rose through the pines and a Great Horned Owl started hooting in a nearby tree.  The weather was chilly so I used some white canvas to block the wind and reflect some of the heat.   I called to the owl several times and he always answered.  It was the perfect time to do some serious reflection about important people in my life and promising to show them some gratitude. 

By the weekend there were a bunch of trailers around.  It was a totally different experience.  Still pretty quiet.  I had invited some friends to come down from Reno for dinner.  We made stacked enchiladas in a Dutch Oven and made  brownies for dessert.  Great to have some company.  Next comes a trip to the low desert. 

9:30 a.m. on November 22, 2018 (EST)
ppine
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When was the last time you spent a late fall night around a fire with just your dog and a Great Horned Owl?

9:01 a.m. on December 6, 2018 (EST)
ppine
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My brother used to be involved in a program with vision quests.  People would go through some classes to prepare for a 3 day solo trip with a sleeping bag and a jug of water and little else.  There was great anticipation for people to expand their spiritual awareness. 

Some people came home the second day, some struggled to make it 3 days, and some had their lives changed forever.  Most people are plugged in all the time. To turn off the noise and leave them with their thoughs can either be a revelation or really frightening. 

I had my vision quest 1/2 hour from home in a campground with no one around that is always full in summer.  My dog is a great listener.  I only have to tell her important thoughts once. 

10:31 a.m. on December 6, 2018 (EST)
balzaccom
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That's fun.  We often wait for the forest service roads to close (or before they open in the spring) and then hike to campgrounds for an off-season backpacking trip.  Very quiet....

6:37 p.m. on December 6, 2018 (EST)
whomeworry
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The voices in my head seem to follow wherever I go, so I can never get peace and quite time with myself...

Ed

12:20 p.m. on December 7, 2018 (EST)
ppine
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Ed,

Just stay out there until they stop. 

It is the nervous monkey on your shoulder doing most of the talking.  Brush him off, and enjoy being your own best friend. 

11:55 p.m. on December 7, 2018 (EST)
whomeworry
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ppine said:

Ed,

..It is the nervous monkey on your shoulder doing most of the talking. 

But I am the monkey - and there is a third one on the other shoulder!  And you know, wherever you have monkeys, surely there is monkey business.

Actually it's that I have at least three answers to simple yes/no questions, and can spend the whole day on more open ended topics.  Fish or cut bait, canoe or row boat, bail, or paddle, or use the trolling motor.  And egads, which fish lure to choose?  Then there are the political and philosophical enigmas.  What is the bottom turtle sitting on? Who created the creator's creator? Why argue about capitalism vs socialism, when not even a somewhat pure form of either exists anywhere on the planet?  How can such a great nation constantly get itself into so many stupid situations?  And why are there hot pockets? :0  Can man live on ramen alone?  Whisky or coffee, or Irish coffee.  Maybe the answers are in the pipe smoke.  Yes, another pipe is in order.

Well!  I must be a survivalist terrorist, for I have managed to hijack this thread without need of a gun, explosive, box knife or duct tape.  OMG, here we go: the duct tape discussion...  

Ed

7:54 p.m. on December 8, 2018 (EST)
pillowthread
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I'd worry that you're losing it, Ed, except that I know you've already lost it and have no desire to find it.

@ppine: May the winds bring the pines to you whenever you seek them. 

8:18 p.m. on December 8, 2018 (EST)
whomeworry
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pillowthread said:

I'd worry that you're losing it, Ed, except that I know you've already lost it and have no desire to find it.

@ppine: May the winds bring the pines to you whenever you seek them. 

Sanity is where you find it. The problem is I geocached mine and someone made off with it.  

10:24 p.m. on December 8, 2018 (EST)
ppine
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Thanks pillowthread, a lovely sentiment.  My search for the truth in the forest started at a young age and will never end.  I have to go out there.

All this talk about Ed searching for his sanity is a bunch of hooey.  He is one of the most sane people I talk to on the internet. 

11:19 p.m. on December 8, 2018 (EST)
pillowthread
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I feel comfortable making Ed an honorary Timber Beast if you do, ppine.

1:12 a.m. on December 9, 2018 (EST)
whomeworry
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pillowthread said:

I feel comfortable making Ed an honorary Timber Beast if you do, ppine.

Ah, now that I have your trust, your fate is sealed!

I don't trust being alone with myself, which is why I insist on my other personas accompanying me on solo trips.  Amusing company, but they stay up very late and eat too much to carry.

What is a Timber Beast?

Ed

8:51 a.m. on December 9, 2018 (EST)
ppine
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Ed,

The classical definition of Timber Beast, would someone that works in the woods getting the timber out, foresters, loggers, truck drivers, etc.

Pillowthread in a flash of creative brilliance, is expanding the concept of honorary Timber Beast to include all of those that savvy the wild.  That would be you amigo.  You are my kind of crazy. 

11:19 p.m. on December 16, 2018 (EST)
NorthWestWanderer
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I love the sound of owls!

9:44 a.m. on December 17, 2018 (EST)
ppine
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Hi NWW.  You can tell who spends  a lot of time out there.  I have them in the yard, sometimes for weeks at a time.  We get long eared owls sometimes passing through. Barn owls are common.  A friend of mine has an owl cam in his barn to keep track of the chicks. 

Anyone ever see a Great Grey Owl?  They are the largest and most magnificent of all the owls, living in deep forest habitat. 

3:38 p.m. on December 17, 2018 (EST)
GaryPalmer
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Last time I had a dog to go camping with was when I was married in Jackson Hole, my wife and I would go car camping. We went to Crystal Creek Campground in the Gros Ventre Wilderness above Slide Lake NE of Jackson.

4:03 p.m. on December 17, 2018 (EST)
Jake W
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Although we have them year round here in Southern Ontario I have never been lucky enough to see a great grey owl. There is a great horned owl that frequently can be spotted out my back window (my house backs onto a large nature reserve) so he’s often perched looking for the field mice and small rodents. My favourite owl spotting was a quick glimpse of a snowy owl last year while driving (a couple seconds was not enough time to admire it, although I’m not sure even a couple hours would have been enough! I also would have loved to have seen it land as I only saw it in flight). 

11:04 p.m. on December 17, 2018 (EST)
whomeworry
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There is a place I have camped at in Joshua Tree NP for decades now.  It has been continuously occupied by an owl (pair?) during the entire time.  Their hoots carry a good distance, they are part of the vibe of this camp.  I have only seen them at late dusk, so cannot Id the breed.  They are dark with a wing span of ~3'. 

Ed

10:45 a.m. on December 18, 2018 (EST)
ppine
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Jake,

Very cool to see a snowy.  We are too far south.

I was on a canoe trip once in Wyoming on the North Platte River.  We came around a bend, looking for a camp site for the night.  Perched on a large log were a golden eagle and a bald eagle together.  That was the only time I have ever seen that.  We pitched a tent under a large cottonwood tree for shade.  Soon after dusk, we were dive bombed by a pair of short-eared owls.  We figured out later that they had a nest with chicks in it.  It was not long before we had to get up and move the tent.

11:10 a.m. on December 19, 2018 (EST)
ppine
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I have seen Great Greys a couple of times in Wyoming.  They are always in deep forest.  They are so large there is no mistaking them.  The giant eye disks give them away also.  They are big and fierce and not so afraid of humans.  It is possible to get pretty close to them.  It is like a spiritual experience to be close to the great bird. 

May 26, 2020
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