"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Chip's recovery continues to amaze. His paw seems almost fully functional. He bears weight on it and uses it when eating.

I've begun introducing more wild foods to his diet and harvested a rose hip as a substitution for green grapes. He's been working on it, but doesn't eat it as enthusiastically as he does a grape.

Chip samples a rose hip

Yesterday I gathered a few beechnuts from the front yard. It's prime chipmunk territory and the nuts have been been picked over pretty well, no doubt by his brothers and sisters, parents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

It doesn't look to me like there's much inside a beechnut, but he absolutely loves them.

Chip eating a beechnut

Both pics above show his injured paw--looking good, working well! I had to look at the earliest photos I shot just to remind myself how awful it was.

Realising that I'm going to need a greater supply of beechnuts, I headed outside this morning to collect some. There I was in my blue bathrobe, crawling on my hands and knees under the tree canopy among all the litter of empty beechnuts, searching for intact nuts. Meanwhile, an adult chipmunk is sitting on a log--probably Chip's mum--shrieking at me. Either because I was stealing her food, or because she senses that I'm holding her baby hostage. I managed to gather a small handful of nuts. I broke off a chunk of wild mushroom, too--I've seen the chipmunks eating fungi sometimes.

As well as harvesting for my little friend, I've harvested for my own household. In recent weeks I dried several enormous bunches of oregano from my garden, and processed them for use over the winter. I've started on the basil as well--not so much progress there, as seen below.

I walked Ruth to the mailbox yesterday afternoon, using the new training collar and the new commands we've learnt. She did extremely well on a loose lead, which remained slack nearly the whole time--hardly any pulling. What a good learner! Jumping up, however, continues to be a challenge.

Three meetings in the city this afternoon, all connected and in succession. Hope to cram in a few errands.

We're having company tomorrow night for supper. For the first time Ruth will be meeting the only "aunt" she hasn't yet met, coming all the way from Minneapolis. I predict a love-fest!

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