Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2017

Since they named this holiday for me, though people will be inclined to say to me, “Thank you for your service,” I want to say to them, “Thank you for my service.”

Naval Aircrewman Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandon Lanard, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron HSC-22 of USS Wasp carries evacuee off an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter following landfall of Hurricane Maria on the island of Dominica.  (As a former petty officer aboard two aircraft carriers, this picture strikes a particular chord in me.  It is so nice to see the Navy used this way.)

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Birdsfoot Trefoil

~~~  For my friend, D.F.  ~~~

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This is the BIRDSFOOT TREFOIL flower that you saw here at Balsamea. TREFOIL means “plant with three leaves.”

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Poison Ivy Quiz | The Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Poison Sumac Site

Learn to identify poison ivy in a fun way at: Poison Ivy Quiz

Click yellow buttons under each photo to see the answers. It’s not really a quiz … it doesn’t keep score.  But it’s a great educational exercise, even for people who can already spot poison ivy.

Thank you, Buddy

While close-up face to face with him and looking at each other’s eyes, Buddy slipped instantly from fully conscious into unconscious perfect peace, and then within a couple of minutes (tough guy – he needed a second dose) into irreversible, eternal oblivion at 9:06 AM today, August 5, 2015, eight years since he adopted me in August 2007.  He was about 9 years old, date of birth unknown.  He adopted me as a stray.  The last words he heard, repeatedly, were, “You’re a good Buddy.”  Nothing is more true.  Thanks, all, for your caring support.  I know that some of you have been really “there” for us, and continue so.  It counts.  It matters.
.Buddy-13

Thank you, Buddy.

I’m going for a walk now, as you would have
me do now and at least three times every day.

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Buddy, Prince of Balsamea to Die 8/5/2015

Buddy 20150801-SS0On Wednesday, August 5, 2015, The Balsamean will euthanize Buddy, Prince of Balsamea.

He chose Wednesday because there is a cord binding our hearts as three, and the third person will say goodbye to Buddy on Tuesday.  The cord has an existential role in Balsamea and its inhabitants’ relationships with each other and the world.  It has been a lifeline keeping me out of the hospital and morgue.  On countless occasions, the cord has heightened Balsamea to a state of being that banished impossibility. Continue reading

Screamy Girl Aids Dog’s Therapeutic Effectiveness; a Scribblement

Over the past two weeks, Buddy the Bio-psycho-social Therapeutic Friend with Four Paw Drive, took to moseying — FOUR TIMES — out toward the distant neighbor northwest of us.  (We’re surrounded by woods, with open space over about half the distance to that neighbor.)

"Don't give me that crap about looking like my human companion."

“Don’t give me that crap about looking like my human companion.”

Apparently they have the grand-kids staying a spell and one of them is an irresistibly (to Buddy) screamy girl (maybe it’s a boy, but I wouldn’t bet on it) playing in their pool, which sits very close to the wall of their house that faces our Balsamea, echoing her voice more toward us than in any other direction, sometimes helped by the west wind and humidity.

Measuring in a straight line, their house is about 350 yards away, on the other side of the road.  That is highly unacceptable moseying, definitely off the reservation.  Buddy does not have a license to operate on blacktop or to rescue screaming girls that far away.

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Buddy Waits

                                       “I will wait for you.”

I can only imagine the wonders that Buddy enjoys in the woods of Balsamea every day and night, with his great capacity for scent, hearing, and night vision.

When he stops in the trail to investigate something, I wait.  It’s the least I can do for all the times he waits while I do things in my never-ending pursuit of amateur silviculture, naturalism, and trail tending.  Come to think of it, he spends most of his time waiting for me.

There never has been and never will be a friend so patient, so tolerant, so forgiving, so playful, and so nice to pet.  A good dog is medicine for mind and body.  Cats, too.  But you can’t take cats for a hike, and they’re generally not so big on tug-of-war and keep-away with a stick, in all seasons and all weather.

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