I woke up this morning in undeniably bad pain. My herniated disc (L2-3) that sits adjacent to a fused section of my lumbar spine undoubtedly has been tweaked. Walking and standing hurt... but the lesson that I've learned over the past 20+ years of dealing with my back pain is NOT to stay still, no matter how tempting it may be. So, I tried pedaling a little. Amazingly, that hurt much less than walking. In fact, the further I rode, the better I felt. So, I rode through the forest with K by my side.
My sensitive K knew that my world was out of kilter and clung nearby watching me closely. As long as I stayed on my bike, I could move almost normally. As soon as I dismounted, I wanted to cry out of frustration with this never-ending battle with pain. It seems endless on some bad days, vaguely like the long view from a hill nearby, but nowhere near as beautiful.
Our world is bustling with life right now. In the depths of winter, if I stop, I sometimes hear no noise in the forest at all - just complete silence. That's never true in the summer. Birds sing, squirrels chatter, bugs call for mates, and aspen leaves quake. K and I stopped deep in an aspen grove whose columbines have just burst into bloom. The song of summer played loudly for us.
Oh, Columbines, how you embody everything wonderful about summer.
The pine pollen fog machine continues to spray our world in fine green particles. I wipe down the counters, leave for a couple of hours, and when I return, the counters look green and dusty again. The billows of pollen obscured the views of the pine tree covered hills and a mountain behind them.
But, those same pollen particles created amazing lighting early in the morning.
One event during our ride left me bewildered. Let me ask you, a general non-biased audience, how would you feel if someone who you've always allowed to cross your land to access a trail informed you that s/he'd paid to have your property surveyed a number of years ago to find out if s/he could assert a legal irrevocable right cross it? Said person admitted that the survey showed that there was no legal passageway so s/he needed our permission. However, I was appalled that this whole process happened without me being informed- so appalled that I actually forgot about my back pain for a little while. And, why did s/he inform me about this event now, years later? Didn't s/he know that I wouldn't be happy about the covert operation that had taken place on my private land? The thoughts and questions swirled through my brain with a dose of anger on top of them but I managed to remain polite during the conversation.
On much less controversial note, I've only photographed mammals from the carnivore family to date on Black Bear Trail - many bears, a mountain lion, and bobcats. Yesterday, a mule deer sneaked past a camera, looking very nervous.
He held his head low, like he was peeking for danger.
I think that the prey animals don't like black bear trail even the slightest bit because of its usual traffic of more dangerous animals. My camera showed that the velvet antlered deer quickly veered off the trail and into the forest.
This blogger was planning a mountain trip and a break from blogging starting tomorrow. So, if my back allows it, don't be surprised to see no posts for a little while. If we stay in town to wait for this spinal flare-up to hopefully pass, you may see another post or two.
I hope that you all enjoy the long days of summer! I'll keep enjoying them no matter where this wild ride of spinal degeneration takes me. I'm sorry if today's post isn't the most uplifting ever - but I can't fake joy. I'm sure that you all understand. It's best to be genuine.