Life With Horace

poetry & essays


field notes: seen in passing

One morning last week I took my usual backroads route to work, an overland passage through woods, by farms and open fields, skirting the town of Jaffrey and its one (no, make that two) traffic light(s).

My reward for leaving at 7 am was a wildlife smorgasbord.

The chipmunk trying to look inconspicuous on the stalk of a sunflower in the herb bed at home, cheeks full of green sunflower seeds.

Still on Mountain Road, a “farmer jam” in full swing. A car stopped on the opposite side of the road with doors open and flashers going, a heifer munching grass calmly between the car and the farm couple hopping out of their truck, pails of grain in hand to lure their animal back up the dirt road away from the highway.

[Folks are pretty good around here about helping out when these things happen, even on a busy state road when everyone is gunning it to get to work.]

A flock of hen turkeys under the trees and in the road next to the really old farmhouse on the last part of Proctor. Slowing down to shoo the last of the Ladies Who Munch off the road, calling out “gobble gobble y’all!”. Flatlander humor.

And, turning onto Vose Farm Road and work, there was a red squirrel down the hill, going hell bent for leather across the road, as only the reds can. With a large piece of wood or other trophy better than half its size in its mouth, sticking out on either side.

I love rush hour in the country.