When Ordinary is Extraordinary

deerEver have a day that stands out from all the rest? Not for anything you did, but because of serendipity and perhaps a peak in your awareness? That day can have you scratching your head and wondering about the world. Being aware, in turn, makes you more aware.

If you in the Big City, it might go something like this:

  • You stumble upon an odd, aggressive dispute between a street vendor and his customer. You watch and walk. Within a minute, they’ve gone from fisticuffs to sorting it out, fist-bumping and nodding.
  • You watch an elderly couple, with matching outfits, holding hands as they shuffle down the street.
  • You continue on your way and spot a dollar bill floating towards you in the air, like a leaf from a tree.

coyThe Big Outdoors gives us days like that, too:

  • Midway through a three-mile hike, we met a coyote, not 80 feet away. It barked and the dogs sprinted after it. They topped the ridge and kept going, with me sprinting and yelling after them (Coyotes are known to lure and prey on domestic dogs.) Two minutes later, the dogs return, tails wagging.
  • Later, I head out again for a ride with the mule. Placing the saddle pad on her back, I notice an odd divot. Oh, but it’s not a divot. It’s a channel of missing wool, gone like a scoop of ice cream. Bad, bad mice. How dare they prepare for winter at my expense? (My gear now must be moved from the shed to the house.)
  • Jolene and I enjoy this fading day of autumn. We’re working hard and have climbed a thousand feet hawkelevation via rough ridges and gullies. A red-tailed hawk circles repeatedly overhead, turning and tilting its head to best scrutinize us. At one point, it poops in our general direction.
  • We spot a mule deer ahead of us. She watches. I expect her to peel off as deer usually do, putting quick distance between us. Instead, she steps deliberately into the cover of a juniper tree, not taking more than 10 steps, and continues to watch as we pass.

The encounters bundled together for a day rich with action and reaction.

joleneThe Big City offer a buzz of humanity; the Big Outdoors offers the buzz of wilderness and wildlife. What’s your pick?

With UtahOutsider Interviews, we’re asking folks a related question:

Do you feel that you’re a part of the outdoors or that you’re simply a user of it? Read their answers.

For sure, many feel part of it. But is the feeling mutual?

Do wildlife ever consider us part of their deal? Are we just interlopers and trespassers?

Posted in Utah on Foot, Utah Wilderness and tagged .

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