The sun felt warm, but a chilly wind kept trying to find a way down our collars and up our coat sleeves. My daughter and I stood on the deck at the back of my house inspecting the yard. Pointing to the row of pine trees along the backside of my property, I proposed, “For our walk today, lets walk the perimeter of my land.”
“That’s a good idea.” Tammie enthused. “We can see how high the river is and check for buds on all of your shrubs.”
My daughter and I decided to shelter together when the “Safer at Home” order was given. We knew being together would ease our anxiety about the situation.
As we settled into this new, unfamiliar lifestyle of never going anywhere to ensure an extreme form of social distancing, we decided that keeping busy would make us feel better and that we needed to get fresh air and exercise every day.
Keeping busy is an easy plan to follow. Tammie’s job for the last two years allows her to work remotely. All her meetings and social gatherings are done online now, too. For my part, I keep busy by managing the house, making meals, cleaning, washing clothes and writing my family history.
As Tammie and I walked across the lawn, the sound of an eagle call made us look up. Soaring overhead we saw a beautiful bald-headed eagle. Its white plumage glowed in the sunshine. As we watched, it called, “Screee!” and disappeared behind tall trees upriver.
When my daughter and I reached the line of pine trees we discovered it had a solid boarder of deer doo-doo. Tammie exclaimed, “Now we know what all the local deer did this winter. They came here every day to take a dump!”
The lawn ended as we neared the river. Picking our way through the trees and winter-bleached grass, we discovered another much-used deer trail. All along it, we found more doo-doo. Tammie dissed the deer, “What dirty animals! There’s hardly a clean place to walk.”
Sounding like a wise old Indian scout, I pointed out, “This wasn’t all done by deer. Notice the pile by that tree? A rabbit did that. It’s shaped differently.”
My daughter observed the difference, “Hmmm, yes, I see what you mean. One is shaped like jelly beans and the other like skittles.”
I muttered to myself as we continued our walk, “Another reason I won’t be eating those kinds of candy this Easter.”
Nearing the bridge, we found more doo-doo that looked different. Stopping to look at it I guessed, “Coyote or fox?”
A few steps further, Tammie exclaimed, “Ew! This is from a very large dog…or maybe a bear?!”
Seriously considering her last possibility, I mused, “We’ve had a few warm days this week. I guess the bear along the river have left their dens already.”
Looking nervously around and over her shoulder, Tammie quickly suggested, “Let’s walk on the road.”
Smiling, I nodded in agreement and confided, “Several years ago I read an article about how some gardeners like to use manure from zoos because of the different beneficial nutrients some plants require.” My daughter didn’t laugh. She listened, nodded and looked as if she was evaluating the possible benefits.
I chuckled, “I told my friend Val I wanted to start a business selling zoo manure. When people called to order their poo of preference, I would answer the telephone by saying, “Zoo doo-doo! What can I get for you?”
Giving me an eye-roll, Tammie suggested, “You could gather up all the doo-doo we saw today and advertise it as, “Just the thing you need for your wild garden this summer; deer and rabbit septic results without inviting them over for dinner.”
Groaning over her joke, I pointed out, “We were pretty good at guessing whose was whose back there… After our “Safer at Home” quarantine, we’ll be expert scatologists.”