Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘scents

Keen Sense

with 2 comments

Lately –more frequently than I like to admit– my commuting hours have been littered with the U.S. political theater that is being broadcast over the airwaves. Every day can be a soap opera if you want it to be. I’m more inclined to avoid unnecessary dramatic escapades. It’s a function of purposeful intent, actually. But I do admit to wondering where reason and common sense have disappeared to, and why avoiding the actual issues and endlessly shouting obfuscations as loud as possible is accepted by otherwise intelligent people as a convincing argument.

At least it’s quiet on the ranch when no one else is around. Last night, Cyndie was away at a seasonal gathering of some of her friends and she left me in charge of entertaining Delilah. I took our pooch on a couple of long walks around the property where she repeatedly employed her very fox-like pounces into the snow, followed by adorably cocking her head to listen intently for any possible movements from below.

It’s cute as heck to watch from above, but probably hauntingly intimidating for any critters cowering underneath. She never did come up with anything, however, despite all her valiant efforts.

Watching Delilah navigate our surroundings by way of scent often leaves me feeling cheated out of a vast amount of information on our walks. Often, she will suddenly turn her head toward the middle of our forest and inhale with such incredible intensity that I’m certain she is aware of something in there that I’m not seeing.

By far, most of the tracks in the snow last night were from rabbits, but I rarely ever see them moving around. The most visible critters are the squirrels. They constantly antagonize Delilah when we are inside, then take to the trees when we come out.

Last weekend, Delilah seemed to know there was one in the branches overhead. She stared and stared for a long time. I decided to wait her out, even though I didn’t see a thing up there. Lo and behold, when Delilah finally gave up and looked back down at the ground, a squirrel bolted from the branches above us and scampered through the surrounding trees until out of view.

I had no idea it was up there, but Delilah knew. Poor girl failed to notice the subject of her attention when it finally made its perfectly timed getaway while she wasn’t looking.

It didn’t matter. She probably smelled that it was leaving and chose not to bother looking up at it again.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

December 12, 2019 at 7:00 am

Little Details

with 2 comments

In the slogging day to day of experiences that are hardly noteworthy, little details can become a surprise of noteworthiness. You can’t plan it. Things just happen. The greatest value is in simply noticing when happenings happen.

Yesterday, I was walking Delilah along one of our oft treaded trails when I suddenly felt this child-like urge to toy with her as obsessively fixated on some scent. I dropped to my knees in the snow and put my head next to her, excitedly asking her what she was smelling.

She seemed a little taken aback by my odd behavior, but carried on sniffing when she saw I was just joining her in the action. I zeroed in and put my nose right at the slightly discolored spot she had been checking.

Nothing, nothing, nothing, OH MY!

Skunk!

I smelled a faint, but very identifiable scent of a skunk.

Maybe if I would put my nose to the ground in the same manner that dogs do, I would gain a much greater understanding of why she reacts the way she does on our daily treks around our land.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

February 18, 2018 at 10:44 am