It always snows near the beginning of March. Yesterday and today we got hit with a big snowfall. According to my estimate after having cleared off the driveway, deck, steps and walkway I’d say we received about 14 feet (no, not inches – feet). I shoveled it so I should know what we got. Thankfully, it is March and it should start to melt in a day or two. So, before you can say hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian or floccinaucinihilipilification (I was going to say colposinquanonia but Linda took offense at the sexist language) the snow will be little more than a memory – I rather imagine that should be sometime mid-July. Anyway, I am looking forward to this Sunday when we change to daylight savings time. It will be lighter later in the evening and that means I can leave my flashlight at home when I take Charlie out for an evening walk in the woods.
It’s not that I greatly mind walking my dog in the dark as I have a good flashlight, but a few months ago it was unusually dark and the woods seemed to resemble Tolkien's Fangorn Forest when Charlie, my black Standard Poodle, and I set off for a night walk at the Carlisle State Park. Although Charlie quickly set off to go exploring in the woods (dogs have great night vision), I didn't worry about his wandering far afield as he customarily checks on me quite frequently to see why I am walking so slowly; but, of course, I only have two legs and he has four.
On this particular occasion he was gone for what seemed to me to be an inordinately long time and I was beginning to worry that the coyotes might have gotten him. I carry a 500-lumen flashlight and I was casting this bright torch about the woods looking for my best four-legged friend when I saw what seemed to me to be two fiery red eyes staring out of the woods at me. I called out to Charlie, but the eyes didn't blink or move. Only, the night before I had been reading poems and shorts stories by Edgar Allen Poe. So, I suppose it is not surprising that I immediately thought that this might be some spirit-possessed creature sent to torment me (thoughts of “nevermore” were racing through my head). Personally, I am not particularly fond of Stephen King’s horror stories, but I have to admit I thought that this nocturnal beast might be of one of his literary perversities partnering with one of Poe’s creations. “Charlie,” I said, “don't fool around, if that’s you, let’s get going home.” The next thing I knew the eyes were running toward me and there was a low growl as the beast leaped into the air and landed on my chest. My dog is such a prankster – he definitely had me going. But I have to say that I am a little relieved that I won't be walking out in the dark woods again until next November.