Little Orange Dog

Last week I had the pleasure of hiking with a new field partner, the little orange Monroe T. Scarr, a soft, smelly, and snickering golden retriever extraordinaire. Our stroll up Essex creek on the eastern forest service side of the park turned memorable within the first few hundered meters when we realized the barely-used trail had fallen into a wild disarray of jungle-growth proportions. If your average jungle was largely made up of frosty six-foot-high nettles, thick thimbleberry bushes, and those nasty burr-plants with the greasy black needles.

Still, Monroe is a consumate scientist and stimulating conversationalist, so, slipping, tripping, soaking from morning frost, and explicative hurling aside, it was a banner day.

Here is a random transcript from our walk:

M: Hey, what are you doing? Why are we stopping again?
K: Look, thimbleberries.
M: Yeah, so?

K: They are perfectly ripe and delicious. Here, have one.

M: Meh. I really don’t see the appeal.

K: Well, think of how you would walk through a forest if there were little meat baubles dangling over the trail.

M: Hmm. What’s a bauble?
K: Alright, a packet–little juicy packets of meat hanging from every branch.
M: That sounds amazing.
K: Yeah, I know. So your meat packets are my thimbleberries.
M: Whatever you say.

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