The children and the dog run up ahead on the trail;
… but in a few moments, I hear my son’s tread. I look up and he is tripping down the dirt pathtrail, a bright spark of cool hue. He tells me now: “Mama, I can’t leave you alone in the woods. You’re vulnerable. … Owls, large legendary mythical birds. … Maybe Bigfoot.”
A large, buzzing insect careens close and circles us. He stops. Completely still. I step ahead, turn, and take a picture:
Then I hold him close and kiss him to think he was protecting me. In the woods. Not from mountain lions, which really do run around here. From OWLS. Et cetera.
At the slower parts of the streams: Phoenix catches several newts; she is swift, and gentle.
My daughter sighs of the skunk cabbage – seen above in flames of yellow – “That stink – that glorious stink.”