Facing Fears, part 3

….Afternoon, in which I realize I have nothing to fear.

Is this what I look like when I’m happy? Need to turn that frown upside down, girl.

In the deep dark of the previous night I had decided to forfeit my campsite fees and give up and go home early but the beauty of the lake in the morning made me change my mind and I settled in for the duration. Lunch was followed by reclining on the beach and for a few minutes I was content to watch the butterflies (big Canadian yellow swallowtails), the many dragonflies, and the pileated woodpecker who was never very far away. Being terrible at relaxing I soon began to poke about in the ridge of detritus washed up by the winter storms; beaver sticks, broken bug-chewed branches, dried grass, sea glass, well, technically lake glass. When you are surrounded by so much blue and green and brown every little anomaly in colour or pattern tends to stand out, like this odd looking stone:

Rorschach rock.

or this humble cranberry. However did it survive the winter in such good shape?

A hardy little cranberry.

And how about these bleached sticks which the are full of bug burrows:

A well chewed stick.

Wait a minute!! Are those really random bug trails? If so, those were some talented artsy beetles. Surely this pattern was assisted by the hands of a human with a pocketknife or a sharp rock.

Prettier than average stick.

I resisted the temptation to bring it home; there’s a good reason the park people don’t want you to bring anything into or out of the park. You never know what infestation is hatching below the surface.

Hammock tent -daytime mode.

A good read followed by an afternoon nap was restorative and I probably would be there yet but for being startled by the sound of a cruise ship going by. For surely that’s what it was, given the amount of noise trailing behind it. I made a quick exit from the hammock and slipped over behind the wood-pile where I watched two bright red canoes go past just offshore. Ah, must be the new crew heading up to site 19 in the passage. Now don’t get me wrong, I relished the thought of having other humans between me and the location of the last bear sighting but I fancied the more woodsy-folksy type with guitars and songs about the leaving of Liverpool or red-winged blackbirds. This crew of five who were sporting more bare flesh than covered despite the flies, had apparently come to Keji to practice their outdoor voices at full volume and although I am not opposed to Beyoncé tunes they don’t really add to the ambience. It brought out the curmudgeon in me as I watched them yelling and play at trying to upset one of the canoes. Ah, I thought, might as well embrace it. They’ll be much better neighbours when half of them have been carted off to the hospital for bronchoscopies to retrieve all the blackflies they inhaled while shrieking. Anyway, as soon as they rounded the point I could no longer hear them so I came out from behind the woodshed and set about making supper.

Mr. Noodles makes a fine pasta dish if you throw away the seasoning mix and drain off the water. I added Bulk Barn cheese sauce, precooked real bacon bits, and those yummy crispy fried onions from a can. I used to add freeze-dried vegetables but didn’t bother to bring any. I may have been going feral for I couldn’t recall the last time I had fruit or a vegetable unless you included the fresh chive I put in my tuna wrap the night before. The two apples I brought returned home in my bag, bruised and battered beyond repair but there wasn’t a crumb of gingersnap left over nor any of the chocolate Jif to Go with which I slathered them.

Happily fed, I lit the campfire and roosted on the beach to watch the sun go down.

I waited forever for it to develop into a spectacle but it turned out to be a real dud so I settled away the campfire, brushed my teeth (guess I wasn’t totally feral) and inserted myself into my tent tube, making sure there were at least two flashlights within reach. Well swaddled and armed with a one inch pocketknife I lay perfectly still and waited for the nocturnal shenanigans to begin.

To be continued….

© Judy Parsons 2019

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