I have been building, making or moving for what seems like a solid month and today I feel most like doing nothing. I sit under the tin roof of the shop building until the lightest of rain showers begins to tap away. The thought of rain raises my interest in taking a hike. Everyone has a different idea or a different identity for what Smoke Farm is - rain is one of the strongest of markers in how I identify it. For myself, Smoke Farm rises to its full potential when it rains.
I head up river stopping at the bridge over the creek to make sure that it is as fine a place to sit as I keep telling people. It is. My ears catch a purring in the tall grass behind me. I freeze and wait. A few moments pass and a large dragonfly rises up and heads off down river.
I walk up the river road picking thimbleberries as I find them. The wet spring has made them unusually juicy this year. I think that they are best eaten by using the tongue to smash them against the roof of the mouth. This way none of the raspberry sherbert flavor is wasted, it all ends up on the taste buds. It is a delightful burst of one of the best tasting berries ever.
There are two frogs and a dozen tadpoles in the longest of the road puddles - it is 50 yards long and thus, perfectly good frog habitat.
I see many fresh deer tracks and a few raccoon tracks as I walk the road. But, when I get to the upper beach, I find an unexpected track, one that takes a few seconds to recognize because it is unexpected. In the silt, up under the first edge of brush where the river lets the well rooted plants stay, is the track of a small child. I find myself thinking that it is a very fine spot to bring a small child.