29 June 2013

Branchstackers-Perimeter walk 062913

I don't know if you need to think about branchstackers in your forest. We always know that they're in there, but we always hope to not run into them.

It's inevitable, that you'll cross paths with them sometimes. They probably think the same about running into a pack of little black dogs. They're in there doing their work, we're in there doing ours. I saw one working on this stack, and we passed through the glen as quick as we could.

Otterpop wears a harness when we walk so I can grab her and tie her to me in case of branchstackers. It's a precaution. I just think it's best.

Later on, we passed him again in a ghost manzanita thicket. That's probably the worst place to see a branchstacker. I don't think he was following us, but we had taken a wrong turn and were in his territory. I had taken a new path somewhere, in my rush to find a better way out in the heat, that's why we ended up there. Part of walking these perimeter walks is to never, ever walk the same way twice. I wasn't sure where we were, but inside a dead thicket isn't where you want to run into one face to face.

We picked up a trot at a fork and headed out onto a wider path, making sure to follow it towards the west. Gustavo was uneasy this whole walk, because we were walking reversed and finishing to the west. Change confuses him, his mind is gentle. The sun was starting to head down, but it was still the hottest day I've ever had, in this particular forest and although late, still easy to follow the sun. The days are long now, but just because it's evening doesn't mean the trees shade you from the heat.

Maybe the opposite. The heat was stagnant in there, held in by the tinder. This isn't a healthy forest. In the heat it feels sick, as though it's surrendered to it's inevitable outcome. Poor Ruby. This wasn't the walk she needed on the hottest day of the year. No water left in there, not a drop. Just mosquitoes buzzing around by a mud patch. Ruby never saw the branchstacker. She just keeps trooping along, happy to be included, happy to have a place to go.


Elf said...

Hot hot hot hot. Even in the forest, eh? Somehow that makes me sad. Glad you all survived the ordeal. I love "branchstackers" as a term. Perfect.

Sobaka said...

What I see sometimes is not stacks, but teepee-like structures. Too small to shelter anyone, so I always wonder who built them and why. I've never crossed paths with the builders, but I agree it would be scary. It's good you have an Otterpop to protect you.

Elf said...

@Sobaka, could be woodrat nests?

Sobaka said...

@Elf, interesting, but not the same. I think the ones I see are constructed by humans, or maybe elves, LOL. Maybe boy scouts. A teepee made of branches only big enough to shelter your head, unless you are about 10 inches tall. But next time I see a really messy pile of debris in the woods, I'll know it is a woodrat's nest, and I'll stay far away.... especially since now I know that 'Woodrats often urinate on the debris piles'.