Beagles in the Headlamp

Tree SilhouetteThe combination of Indian Summer and the time change has made early morning walkies quite pleasant this week. The temperature has been in the 60’s and the light is just barely breaking at 530. Actual dawn is still a ways off.
We take a short cut through the woods, down the trail a hundred feet or so, left at the old plow, through the gully to emerge into the neighbors meadow. Now the head-lamp is not really needed. We’ve walked this way a lot. There is a wide swath cut through the tall grasses here, and at the top of the hill a quick cut through the tall weeds puts us into a well mown field. Black silhouettes of tall trees define the edges of the field. A quarter mile away a neighbors porch light reflects off the limbs of a now naked Maple tree. Tonight the half moon pours just enough light through the sifting clouds. Turning off the headlamp allows the light of the stars to impress my eyes, and once again I wish I was better at remembering the constellations.
Most critters are still asleep in the hedgerows. They may be aware of us, but their scent is not strong enough in the grass to really set the Beagles off. Occasionally we are late enough that the White Tail Deer can just be seen nibbling along the edges, their eyes reflect the flashlight if it is on. I usually talk to them, quietly advising that they move into the thicket before the dogs pick their heads up enough to see them. It’s quieter if they aren’t seen.
One critter pounces out at us almost every day. It is our cat. Slender and black he loves to get just ahead of us and come streaking by startling the sniffing dogs in an around about trail to the back porch and finally inside and breakfast.

The crunch of my neighbors driveway signals we are nearly at walks end. Sometimes the flickering lights of the weather channel indicates that they too are up and getting ready for the day. As I cross my back lawn Dave’s kitchen light might be on as he gets ready to leave for work too. Several mornings it has been warm enough to relax on the back porch with my coffee as the day begins. This mostly succeeds in creating a strong dismay at the idea of being stuck in an office all day.
These mornings are to be savored. Soon the breeze will take on a cutting edge. Fortunately the effort required to keep up with and control two Beagles should get the blood pumping enough for warmth – that and good gloves.