Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word

On Top of the World

            I’m watching the full moon come over the ridge across the valley, and after spending the past few days with mom and dad, trading stories about our travels, this evening I really feel like I’m on top of the world. The weather has been mild and the mountain is gorgeous this time of year. Talking to mom and dad I’m finding some validation for the wonderful things that have been happening.

            Since I left the city I’ve have some close encounters with animals. None of the dangerous kind, but I first noticed it with the robins. Whenever I would go walking robins would always seem to find me, and stand in my path and squawk at me, as if they were trying to tell me something. When I arrived in Vernal, every time we went to the mountain chipmunks would follow me, and when I saw some small fish in Red Fleet, they swam to the surface to watch me. Kathy and I joked about one of us having the animal “kavorka,” and until I came to the mountain I wasn’t sure which one of it it was.

            Now it’s not uncommon for me to look down and see chipmunks at my feet, or return from the bathroom to find deer sniffing at my tent. When I take tours on the dam the lizards are waiting on the rocks of the path for me, and often walk the length of the dam by me. On two of my tours I’ve seen the river otters, which, according to my boss, nobody else has seen this season. The first time I saw them it was wet and dreary out, and we were on the fish deck below the dam. There were several children on the tour, and when the otters approached I thought there might be bloodshed as the otters were probably coming to eat the fish we were feeding.

            Out of the water on the bank below us, came 5 adult otters, and scurrying up the rocks behind them were six baby otters. After they all got on the bank, they stopped and looked at us, then walked farther along the bank towards us. I wondered for a moment if they were going to come all the way up onto the fish deck, and I’ve heard they can be aggressive when feeding so I was a little nervous. But they looked at us and make their squeaking noise, then dove into the water directly beneath us with the fish. They swam and spun and twirled in the water, before surfacing and looking right at us. They squeaked again as if to say “look at us,” and then went to carrying on again. They entertained us for at least ten minutes, and it was blatantly obvious they were there just to socialize with us. The babies stayed closer to the bank, and when they were finished performing they all climbed onto the rocks, where I believe they were waiting for applause. One of the babies was having too much fun spinning in the water, and one of the adults started barking at it to get it to come back. When they were all on the rock they gave us one last look and off they went.

            Talking to mom and dad they’ve told me that they’ve had similar experiences with animals since they took to the road. Our collective reasoning makes us think that perhaps we have washed away the stink of humans and the city, and appear to them as just other animals in their woods. I feel a little like the Disney princess who wanders through the woods and has the birds singing to her and the animals following her, but the more people I talk to up here, the more I realize the true meaning of communing with nature.

 

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September 16, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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