Sunday, May 15, 2016

from the notebook of chief investigator joe beans (interspersed with random notes & thoughts from others)

I think I’ll dig up these little bushes and move them over here.

Half a brown trout, dead, coated in sand.

Turtle tracks.


Beneath the cedars, a scattered pile of feathers, black with white spots.

Spring flowers the prettiest. Always a surprise. One day there on the woodland floor. Trout lilies, bloodroot, violets, Dutchman’s breeches (Buckle Down, Winsocki!), and I spot the leaves of trillium and meadow rue, prickly raspberry canes, all yet to bloom.

Tick check! thump thump thump

That sun feels good.

A massive prickly rock moving through the yard. I let loose an immediate alert. Her response time: slow. Then, mind games at the door. “Sit.” “Stay.” “Calm down.” Say what? I provide a cogent urgency: Massive. Thing. Yard. Now. She seems not to get it. Sigh. Exit allowed. Attack. All clear.

Dutchman’s breeches.

One evening I let Josie out. He bounds off the porch heading south. To the east, I see a porcupine crawling up the opposite bank of the creek. To the west, two deer in the field. Josie stops, eventually sees the deer. They are watching him. He runs at them. They don’t move. Josie circles back. A dance of curiosity, nonchalance, and what now? begins.

Don’t these spindle-legs know what’s good for them?

About those white-spotted feathers I question Elliott. He claims innocence. Or, feigns innocence. Difference?

Chipmunk activity in the gully. Elliott climbs a tree. Whoa!

Trout lily.

I spotted him in the gully, that massive prickly thing. Just as I thought. Porcupine. Went up a tree. I stood below, sent up an alert. Ha! Now her response time: pronto! But who is she talking to? “Hello, Mr. Porkie. So sorry to disturb you.” Say what? I make it clear what needs to be done, and when she reaches down to pick me up I think finally she gets it. As she lifts me up, I help by reaching for the tree, my front paws now nearly on the branch that if only I could get to I could scramble up the tree and get that old Porkie! But wait! What now? Walking away from the tree, me tucked under her arm.

As I lug Josie out of the gully I notice that in just a few hours the short-neck fiddlehead ferns have grown into long-neck fiddlehead ferns.

Serviceberries in bloom.

Verisimilitude. Why this word, every day, in my head?”


I spend an afternoon digging in the garden, yanking things out, moving things around.

I spend an afternoon at my lookout, surveying the gully.

I watch as she digs. I dig; she yells. I watch as he sits, watching. I dash over, climb a tree. He hops. Up and down. Around and around.

What if life were like a musical and all the Dutchman’s breeches et al. pulled themselves up by their roots and did a little song and dance down there in the gully? Perhaps a little soft-shoe and swirl to Whispering Jack Smith’s Sunshine.

The fire sure feels nice.

Oh. Snow.

At least it is today, not a week from today. Forecast for Saturday next: 71 degrees, sunny.

No explanation for those feathers.

What did the fish have to do with it?


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