My old friend Howard seems ok in this photo but he really isn't. He's going to be 90 next month and he has been having a lot of health problems lately. We were headed out to Pine Creek anyway but a friend alerted us that his health was failing so this poignant visit coincided with our own final days of the journey. Howard owns a lot of land and has always had English Setters, like faithful Colby here. In recent years he gets around on his "mule" by what his son calls braille since he can barely see. In this photo Howard was trying to introduce himself to a new "mule" since the old one wasn't dependable anymore.
Michael and I the opportunity and our own two feet to propel us out to catch the moon rise over by Zimmershed creek. First the sunset through one of the valley oaks....
Then part of the autumnal acorn stash of the industrious acorn woodpeckers.
Then finally the full Beaver Moon rising in a rather sooty sky off toward the Cohasset Ridge in the far distance and a long walk back with it's cool light to shadow us.
We had a good visit with Howard, that was what was important. To drink in the memories and one more experience of this place that has been so dear to me for so many years.
In the morning we visited the little cedar cabin a mile from Howard's house where I lived when I first came to the area and where Orien was conceived 33 years ago. It's the end of our Veggie Voyage today and we've settled back into our own home at Riparia, in Chico. The land everywhere is dry and ready to drink up winter's watering and for the leaves to return to enrich the soil. The cycle of our lives is turning and we and our friends aren't as strong as once we were but the Love nurtured from the soil of past kindness and shared experience and the love of the wild land keeps the connections strong and abiding past death do we part.