Slice of Life Tuesday: Whose woods these are I think I know…

A beautiful  morning; mists lie like downy veils over the creek and valley as we make our way from the farmhouse to the woods across the way.  Sophie scampers ahead, blissfully chasing sticks, squirrels, and the odd acorn that plops down on the pathway.  Scott and I trudge through an ankle deep carpet of copper and gold, bundled up against the early morning bite of upstate New York Fall.

The woods belong to a State Trooper from Vermont; he has carved out a hunting heaven somewhere deep in these woods, but has kindly invited us to walk among his trees whenever we wish to, with the exception of hunting season, when such a walk would be foolish.  We’ve never walked past a gate about a half mile in, however, preferring to take Sophie up into the pastures behind the house which look over the entire valley.

This morning, we decide to venture in.  The woods entice us with lovely sights:

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It is so quiet, that we can hear the leaves fall.  Deeper and deeper we walk, each of us lost in our own thoughts and the luxurious peace of a Washington County morning.

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And then I feel something change.  Scott and Sophie move ahead, but I feel a sudden shift in the atmosphere.  Leaves continue to fall in the gentle morning breeze, but I sense no gentleness ahead.  And then I hear it – an unmistakable growl.  I can feel it,  somewhere in the tangle of brush, mossy rocks, and tumbledown trees.   I cannot see it, but I know that a mountain lion lurks somewhere to the left of where we stand.

Quickly, we turn on our heels and begin walking back.  My heart is pounding so loudly I can barely hear anything else. Sophie sprints ahead, entirely focused on the stick we throw ahead with grim purposefulness.  Eventually, we reach the gate and then see the warmth of our red carriage barn.  Sweet sight!

Half an hour later, shorn of my coat and boots, my hand still shakes as I sip from my mug of coffee by the warmth of the wood stove.

Whose woods these are I think I know…

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21 thoughts on “Slice of Life Tuesday: Whose woods these are I think I know…

  1. Beautiful post, Tara! Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening is one of my favorite poems! I read it to my students and we practice visualizing and then they draw images of what they “see” in their mind. Gorgeous photos, too! Thank you!

  2. What a beautiful trip for you and I was so jealous until you knew there was a mountain lion out there. That is really spooky but your choice of language up to then gave me no clue that was coming. I’m glad you turned around and was safe.

  3. Love love love the ending — and I want your weekends! I love your house and how you are embracing your stage of life. I am studying you as a mentor as I will be an empty nester in 5 years. I want to look forward to new phases, not worry about the loss of what I have now. Thank you for always inspiring me as a teachers and as a person.
    Clare

  4. You had me on a peaceful walk through the woods until… There is danger in them there hills. I’m glad you made it home safely. I do love the beauty of the fall leaves.

  5. Love the pics and this post. You had my heart in my mouth with your words, “I sense no gentleness ahead.” And then the grim purposeful stick throwing. When I grow up, I want to write stories just like yours!

  6. Your words swept me into the quiet and the peace. I was thinking how lovely it is that you have the farmhouse and this source of joy in your life. Then…YIKES…so glad your wisdom brought you safely home! (I am still a bit shaky from the reading! 🙂

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