A Walk in the Woods

April 17, 2009 by Ellen Stimson in Springtime, Vermont

Seventy degrees. Those are two beautiful words. It’s only 27F here right now, but turning on the computer this morning the promise of 70F is blinking out at me.
Spring in Vermont is complicated. Forty-degree swings like this one are common. For every sunshiny afternoon there are a half dozen blustery mornings that will break your heart when you climb out of bed.
Yesterday was gorgeous too. Two in a row feels like some kind of April miracle. Pippi went to the hairdresser yesterday, so Charlie had his first full day without Daisy or Pippi either one. Eloise is in no shape to play with a growing ram and Stuart at 12 is not amused with all the head butting, charging, jumping glee either. But he is always game for a walk in the woods. So when John saw the fox at our fence and decided to follow her, Stu, and Charlie followed right along side. Now we take our dogs on woodsy walks off leash all the time. Zoe the cat comes along more often than not. She sticks to the tree line, hopping from fallen log to fallen log, running and jumping and climbing but never more than 8 or 10 feet away. She is part of the pack. These animals of ours have formed a family system of their own and they travel and act as any pack of same species long bonded critters would.
And yesterday Charlie was permitted into the group. He followed along at a slower pace, stopping to chew every other branch and much on any clump of grass in his way. Stuart ran ahead leading the little group, then John, with Zoe off to one side or the other and Charlie pulling up the rear. A man, his dog, their cat, and a lamb. What a parade they made marching a mile or so into the woods. John said the lamb never let them get too far ahead and if more than 15 or 20 feet separated them he would run and jump to catch up turning sideways in mid air showing off his emerging ram skills. When I got home they were all piled up in a sunny spot of grass enjoying the last rays. I sat down next to them and soaked up a little of that glorious warm sun with a lamb by my side getting his belly rubbed.
It’s spring. The days are full of blustery disappointment and sunny thrills.
We had a sad morning this week and a happy afternoon yesterday. It’s a life….


  • Dreams and Designs

    Glad you had some rays of sunshine in your week!!!! Sounds like fun was had by all!

  • Jacquie

    It is a life, isn’t it? Nicely said. I like your juxtaposition of spring against the normal ups and downs of life. Lovely E

  • GutsyWriter

    I try to imagine what your life must be like and learning all these new skills of taking care of animals. Although it sounds beautiful, I can see there are new challenges daily. What do you enjoy most about your days?

  • library lady

    The stars of our spring this year have been tulips. They are incredible and incredibly hardy. We have had several hard frosts and two snows since the tulips have bloomed and they survived them all and are still gorgeous. If this weren’t Friday and if I hadn’t fooled around reading a sappy mystery this morning instead of getting ready for work, I might wax philosophical and use the tulips as metaphor for the resiliency of life!

  • Kate

    Those 40 degree changes happen overnight here, too. It’s what makes me sick in the fall and spring. I’m crossing my fingers.

  • Crystal Jigsaw

    It’s a wonderful life! Your walks sound very similar to ours although we haven’t got any lambs to follow as yet…!!

    CJ xx

  • starrlife

    Love the images! It was a gorgeous day here today and I raked my little butt off! Wish I was taking a leisurely walkabout with my cat!

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