Pick-up Dogs How Two Rescue Dogs Save the West from Being Won

The Forest Path and the Rain Dogs

This post is about light and the absence of light in a Northwestern forest foray. In winter, Marcos, Lupe and I walk down a path that is like a passage into a Brothers Grimm fairy tale, the forest so dark that it is spooky and unforgiving. Lupe takes pleasure in the smells of the forest and the small creatures to chase.

The forest path should be dark and dank, yet should open up to friendly clearings. The forest, like the camera, is nothing but a trick of manipulating light to your favor. Light, and its absence, mark the passing of time here in the forest.

The indefinite light, gray and uncertain, particularly evident in winter, defines life here in Cascadia. The sharpness of light, evident in summer, almost Mediterranean in places like Lopez Island with the turquoise water that surrounds it, also becomes apparent in winter, on the mountains, but its presence is scarcer and almost nonexistent in the forest. Light is still and moves. It has an existence, and it defines our existence.

Green is always present. You feel like you have moss growing behind your ears when you live here.

The path is full of rotting leaves, detritus.

Rain is always imminent in Cascadia. The dogs have tried to grow accustomed to it. Despite their best intentions, they have become Rain Dogs.

“Huddle a doorway with the Rain Dogs

For I am a Rain Dog, too…

Give my umbrella to the Rain Dogs

For I am a Rain Dog, too” Tom Waits

If a tree falls in the forest and Marcos is there to hear it, does that make it real?

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