Libby and Queequeg and Flike and I went to Roundrock on Saturday, with the intent of staying the night to listen to the whippoorwills as we sat around a crackling campfire. We were thwarted in that hope, but we did manage to make a good overnight weekend out of the trip.
There was all of Saturday to be filled before we could listen for the whippoorwills, so we managed to find things to do. Libby and I took a long hike through our woods (leaving the dogs in the cabin since the ticks are already thick in the scrub). Because the top of the dam was a dense growth of tall grass (grass that might have prevented the spillways from washing out — again — had it been growing there before), we diverted around it, going to our eastern property line and pushing through the scrub there, thinking foolishly that the dense trees would stifle the scrub growth. Flike might have made it through there with us, but Queequeg would not and would have been carried. (It would have been easier had we just crossed the dam.)
We had no specific goal in mind on our walk, and when we finally found ourselves across the lake and on the north-facing slope, we wandered through the trees, looking at this and that, and more or less following our feet to the west. The growth is in full ambition mode now, and I know that by August, this will seem to have been not a good idea, but what does youth know, right?
We made our way to the western end of the lake, which was at full pool and looking splendid, and crossed in the gravel to the south facing slope, making our serpentine way back to the dogs and the cabin. We stopped at a small pile of stones where we hope to some day build an actual house, and I left a pink gemstone atop it. (It is a 2-inch diameter piece of glass.) We direct our feet to this part of our forest frequently, and I’m eager to see if the gemstone remains or is carried off by some “collector.” It’s a big item, so I don’t think it will go far, but I won’t be surprised when I return and find it knocked off the rock and in the leaf litter.
We spent the rest of the afternoon picking ticks off of our clothes. We did have a campfire, but unexpected, distant thunder and lightning arrived, as well as a few drops of rain, and I think that may have quieted the whippoorwills. This means, of course, that we must return and stay the night so that we can listen for them again.