Everyone Has a Summer They Want to Remember

Animal-less tail

Though, for this animal, it is probably not this summer, unless it wants simply to remember (i.e. be alive) (which it probably is not).

Wyoming is so empty, but it is not the emptiness of the desert or of the ocean. It’s not the emptiness of West Texas that stretches on for miles, barren and baking land.

Here there is the appearance of life. Grass and brush cover the hills and copses of trees stand their (mostly leafless) guard. There’s water running in a creek nearby, and frogs that are calling out their name, rank, and serial numbers after months of hibernation. Right around the Jentel homestead there’s a pimpernel of robins (they don’t yet have a group name, and so I claim the right of naming for myself. Hereversoafter a group of robins will be called a pimpernel. At least by me.) and some sandhill cranes are roosting somewhere in the area. They, too, you can hear murmuring in the distance.

But for the most part, you can walk for half-an-hour or more and see no other animals. On the dirt county road you won’t be passed by a truck (invariably a truck) and you won’t see deer (mule or white-tailed) or antelope or geese or magpies or marmots. You’ll find yourself talking to the just-now-rebudding trees or dead whatever-the-hell-this-is.

My only friend

Banner, Wyoming (and Wyoming, perhaps, in general) is a place where you can see for miles around you. The air is so clear that I can pick out (large, admittedly) details on the top of a mountain thirty miles away. But when I’m on a walk, I can see the entire landscape around me, and it seems like I’m the only living thing in it.

Besides the vegetation.

Sorry for being a kingdomist.

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4 Responses to Everyone Has a Summer They Want to Remember

  1. Laura Young says:

    If only you had asked me last week, I could have told you that your only friend is a mullein. Its in the figwort family. They are biennial or perennial plants, rarely annuals or subshrubs, growing to 0.5–3 m tall. The plants first form a dense rosette of leaves at ground level, subsequently sending up a tall flowering stem. Biennial plants form the rosette the first year and the stem the following season. The leaves are spirally arranged, often densely hairy, though glabrous (hairless) in some species. The flowers have five symmetrical petals; petal colours in different species include yellow (most common), orange, red-brown, purple, blue, or white. The fruit is a capsule containing numerous minute seeds.

  2. Andrew says:

    You are such a know-it-all.

    And I miss you.

  3. Laura Young says:

    What can I say. I looked up your blog. So, its pretty obvious that I’m going through withdrawal. I hope your transition back to the real world hasn’t been too painful.
    I’ve been watching a group of chickadees chittering and chattering in a cherry tree outside my window. It sounds like pipsqueak bitching. I think you should invent a name for a group of chickadees, if you’re in need of some distraction.

  4. Andrew says:

    I dub a group of chickadees to be called a “titillation”, as in:

    “So, you watched a titillation of chickadees outside your window.”

    Not a very interesting example, to be sure, but I believe the chickadees provided titillation enough.

    The transition is still going on, and I’m hoping it is not too painful as well. I just wrote again for the first time today, and hope to continue getting into a positive rut tomorrow.

    Distraction achieved!

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