Fall Creek Trail, Willamette National Forest

I was going to write about Jones’ concern for pack integrity when we’re all strung out along the trail, or about how he’s so low to the ground that he can squeeze under fallen trees, or about how in his dotage he is totally trustworthy to go off the leash when we hang out on the river bank while the kids throw rocks and explore the mossy pools, but then I was just so full of the splendor of the forest primeval, the twinkling sun through the cedars, the rush of the river, and people I love out in it with me that I was like that’s all I want to say.


Bohemia Park, Cottage Grove

It was like a Norman Rockwell painting come to life and with sound effects, except for the weedwhacker at work on the grass steps of the amphitheater. Kids frolicking in the playground, the jingle of tags on Jones’ collar, tweens tossing a football down by the fountain, oldsters doing laps on the path around the park, my girl on her bike, little dogs, big dogs, all bathed in sunshine and blue sky proclaiming hallelujiah, choir of angels!

Holly Ave., Cottage Grove

The big wheel keeps on turning (proud Mary keeps on burning), but it’s hard to remember that sometimes in the dark mornings of January. Like it will never be light during early walks ever again. But then one day late in the month you climb up the hill on Holly Ave. and see the faintest of gray streaks in the eastern sky and by the time you get home at 6:45 you in your dark jacket and hat and the little black dog are no longer invisible ninjas slinking through the gloom, and everything is a little brighter.

S. R St., Cottage Grove

You know how when you go look at the front page of the New York Times from like 1942 and you figure there would be some dramatic headline about the horror and magnitude of World War II but then there’s just something about troop movements, the president making a statement, a state congressional race, gas rationing. It’s all so small, like Hey don’t you know there’s a world war going on? Millions upon millions will be dead and displaced, economies shattered, geopolitics irredeemably ruptured. But the daily paper just reports the incremental bits of the slow-moving catastrophes and it’s only later that you can synthesize them into a coherent conclusion. When you’re in the moment it’s just the day and here’s what happened: a small portion humanity was extinguished; scattered reports of loss of hope; film at 11.

S. 2nd St., Cottage Grove

Most of the walks these days have actually been at night, which means one has to look within for scenery (Here is where the birds sing! Here is where the sky is blue!). Actual daylight today afforded the following sights:

Two carved wood bears, one crouching and one standing on its hind legs

Ivy growing on moss growing on a tree growing out of the sidewalk

Mushrooms growing on moss growing on a straw bale

A scary pirate mask on a garage door

A motorcycle with a sidecar

A sign for a “faith-based family medicine” practice

Multiple signs for a sign-painting business

An aspirational flagstone feature

That same pile of bricks that has always been there on Adams

Faded prayer flags




Downtown, Cottage Grove

As regular readers of the doglog well know (i.e., myself and L.), I do love a good dual-purpose dog walk. As L. and E. settled in to another chapter of Matilda, I took the opportunity to hustle down to the ballot drop box in front of the library to make sure Our Voices are Heard in the special election. Plus also I ate maybe too many noodles for dinner and then had to try my stupid homemade so-called Clif Bars, all of which gave me a gut ache. Hello, uncooked oatmeal and flax meal encased in peanut butter, quelle surprise.