Yes, I said "loaner dog". I get lonesome for canine companionship when my dog is gone hunting with his dad for an extended time. Recently I was lucky to get to spend a great fall afternoon in Paco's company. We hiked to the creek, and found the forest very different than it had been all summer. Amazingly there was still a fair amount of water in the stream, which tells me that maybe a mountain spring feeds it.
The canopy had thinned, as most of it was now on the forest floor. The steep path that had been slippery from dry leaves on top of dry dirt was now reassuringly stable, thanks to a few recent rains. Ferns were starting to look vibrant again, and new growth was evident. Life and death, juxtaposed.