Sunday, April 27, 2014

well that was weird

Yesterday it drizzled all day and all night, except for about two hours in the early evening.

When I saw the sun suddenly break through the clouds after hours of gloom, I immediately whistled for Piper and we headed to the little pond.

There were no other cars in the little parking area, so Piper was off-lead almost immediately, delighted with what must have been a dizzying abundance of scents in the wet air. Everything was so green. Just breathing felt revitalizing.

The sun was low, and light glistened across the pond and through the trees. I tried to cajole my little point-and-shoot camera into capturing the magical quality of what I was seeing, but it was really asking too much.

I told Piper to "go ahead!" while I stopped to take pictures, but instead of racing off as she usually does, she started to run then stopped in her tracks, with a truncated "whuff" that sounded exactly like she had said, "What the...??"

Piper was staring into the woods, toward the pond, about forty feet away. I thought maybe one of the recently-arrived ducks or geese had taken off suddenly, startling Piper, but I could see nothing unusual.

And still Piper stood. Her body language was so odd, I didn't know what to think. She wasn't frightened, but she was clearly uneasy. She wasn't moving to explore whatever she had sensed, but she couldn't just ignore it, either.

Now I'll just say at this point: I am almost always comfortable in the woods. And when I'm not, I pay attention to that feeling. Frankly, I feel far more wary about other humans than I do about any other creature I am likely to encounter. I do keep my eyes open for moose, bear, and coyote when I have Piper with me, only because I don't know how she would react. My guess is, "with wild enthusiasm!" Which would not be helpful.

But yesterday at the pond, I didn't see anything, and I didn't hear anything, and Piper was acting in a very peculiar manner. And with no enthusiasm whatsoever. Her uneasiness began to make me uneasy, so I called her to me quietly and she came right away.

I asked Piper to heel as we retraced our steps back down the familiar woods road, and believe it or not, she periodically took a quick look over her shoulder, for all the world the way you do when you find yourself on a strange street late at night, and you can't kick the feeling that there is something behind you. And you try not to look, but then you just have to look. That's what Piper was doing.

A couple of times when she did that I stopped and turned back, listening for the sounds of something - a dog? a moose? - moving in the woods. Nothing. It was, to be honest, creepy. We were probably less than a half-mile from the parking area, and that walk took ages.

I still have no idea what spooked Piper, but Piper certainly spooked me.

I'll have to ask around a little bit the next time I'm in town. If there's a Loch Ness Monster in the little pond, or a Bigfoot in the woods, I'd hate to be the last to know.


  1. Is it possible that the geese had young in a nest, and were threatening Piper?

    Or that The Green Man actually lives in your woods....ancient mythical figure.

  2. I'm so glad you listen and pay attention to Piper and your own gut instinct. Like you i'am very comfortable in the woods. There was a time in my life (childhood) that i spent alot of time there and i feel that really honed my senses. You learn not to dismiss your 'gut' , but trust in your gut. Whatever that was you described the event wonderfully and by the time you showed that second to last picture peering down the path i was quite uneasy myself. My vote is for BigFoot! Hugs! deb

  3. SO glad you turned around - both of you!!! Better walks ahead, for sure. XOXO

  4. Very wise to follow Piper's lead - dogs are there as our friends, companions and protectors. They can see and sense danger that we are blithely unaware of.

    Good girl, Piper :)

  5. Oh no! Now I'm scared. I wonder what it was. Thankfully you both got out of there. Very strange indeed. Have a good week. Tammy

  6. Ok, so I just saw Piper's picture on my blog roll, and had to come here again...don't you guys have "The Jersey Devil" living in them thar' woods? ;-) Not real certain on the geography of my Urban Legends, but be safe this week, gal!!!

  7. Nah, the Jersey Devil lives in the Pine Barrens of NJ, about an hour south of me. Never saw him, though. We do have a hockey team of that name, close as most people get to seeing him.

  8. Always better to be safe than sorry. Trusting Piper was a good thing. Personally, I would have wet my pants if I saw Bigfoot.


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