Back home I spent the afternoon in quiet solitude, mixing soil for the planters and filling them and mending the stone wall. Occasionally throwing a stick for the dog to fetch. I can spend hours playing with dirt and rocks and plants and never feel deprived of social interaction.
In many respects I prefer my solitary activities to the company of people. Leon was in the house doing his thing and I was outside doing mine. It was nice just knowing he was there. Somehow it keeps me grounded and centered and content.
In our neck of the wood there are not too many dangers in nature. An occasional black bear or a coyote but they don't usually cause trouble.
I think we have a bobcat on our property because I saw tracks in the snow during winter and now I've been finding carcasses of opossums and birds. The other night about 4:30 am we heard a very strange animal noise. A cross between a screech and bark and cry - once ever 5 seconds or so for nearly an hour. The link is to the audio of a Canada Lynx (lynx canadensis) which sounds very much like what we heard. Supposedly there are no lynx in Connecticut but there are Bobcats (lynx rufus) in Connecticut. They prey on small mammals and probably would leave Benni alone - I hope.
This big spider however scares me. Doesn't it look like it's poisonous? I don't know much about spiders, so looked it up: it's a Dolomedes tenebrous, Not poisonous. But it still scares me.
Ticks are probably the most dangerous things in the woods around here - they carry Lyme disease and other nasty illnesses. And mosquitos with West Nile virus are also a creature which presents a danger out of all proportion to their size.
There are rattle snakes and copperheads out there - but they are rare and reclusive. Walking the city streets around these parts is probably more dangerous than a walk in the woods could ever be.
Meanwhile the prickly pear are coming out of dormancy and starting to perk up. As am I.