Kelly and I are currently house sitting for some friends in Highland County, Va. This entails feeding their four horses, putting fly masks on the horses (unsurprisingly, they do not seem to appreciate this), removing fly masks from the horses (more surprisingly, they don't really seem to appreciate this either), feeding the cats, petting the cats, snuggling with the cats, removing the cats' claws from our pants, getting the mail (whoops), scratching the goat behind the ears, scolding the goat for head-butting our legs, applying for jobs online, wishing I were reading, and watching a whole lot of Direct TV. (Did you know that you can pause, rewind, and fast forward it? Whoa!) I would be actually reading a bit more, but this is a relatively open house, the fall chill is now in the air, Kelly loves tv, and I have no will power once the screen is already flickering. Oh well.
Today one of the cats came in with a mouse which turned out not to be dead, so it's in a cooler with some food, paper towels, water, and a cardboard box. (It being the mouse, not the cat.) This cooler is located in the bathroom, with the door closed. Unfortunately, I think the mouse's front legs may be injured. Poor little guy/girl/thing. I'll be checking on him/her/it again in a few minutes, at which time it will probably be dead.
(edit: The mouse was not dead. However, it starts twitching every time it realizes I'm nearby. Kind of upsetting.)
That was really the biggest event today. Sad, right? Kelly wasn't feeling well so we didn't go out as we had planned, but hopefully we will tomorrow. I'm not sure I can face another motionless afternoon in this recliner.
Earlier this evening though, after feeding the horses, we walked down to the pond to watch the bats. The other night we drove the ATV (I promise I'm not trying to show off here--this house really is just awesome. Normally I'm not quite this lucky) down there and could see the bats flying around in the headlights, and then two nights ago we went down a while after dark and there was only one, so I've been meaning to go back again around dusk. Tonight it was just about perfect, maybe excepting the lack of ATV headlights. Kelly got cold and left after a few minutes, but I stayed a while longer as the sky darkened and the mist rolled over the water like a curtain. I could hear a cow lowing further down the valley, and the crickets and late-season cicadas, and the horses stamping and snorting around in the field, but the bats in their circling, swooping, diving show made less sound than my neck creaking or my feet shifting in my work boots. The only aural evidence of their passage was a single flapping sound whenever one flew within a few feet of me. Most of the time I couldn't see them at all, but every so often as the light dimmed I would barely catch one zooming over its own reflection in the silvery water. It was rather magical.
Really, I think that fall just lends itself to magical moments, in a wholly different way than spring or summer would. Sometimes of course when I think of "magic" I think of fairies, but despite my Fantasia-soaked upbringing, I can't really picture tiny sprites turning the leaves brown in the fall. It's a whole different thing, once the chill is back in the air. After the eternally unrelenting heat and humidity of central Virginia in August, the autumnal nip makes me feel alive. It makes me feel like dancing or flying Icarus-like into the sun--only hopefully with better wings. (It's okay, we have Krazy Glue now.) Oh chilly mountain nights, how I have missed you. I thought you'd never come back.
It's funny, because I say this now, but come February I will probably be railing against the barometer with all the strength my vitamin D-deprived brain will be able to muster.
Anyway, my point was, bats: awesome. A few of the trout were still jumping too, which was also awesome. Awesome awesome awesome. My everyday vocabulary showcases a paucity of adjectives. (Let's pretend for the sake of my self-respect that I have another vocabulary aside from my everyday one.)