Why I put the chair here in this very open spot is the afternoon's sun will keep me warm with a hint of crisp air so refreshing, but not chilling me into the house where I couldn't work on this project. Tonight I don't want to be in the weather proof walls, too much of that is just weeks away. While I'm filing a new edge on a pile of hand axes, various knives, splitting wedges and two mauls I have time to think about the shavings as they fall to the ground. They are now just little soft chips of metal, so much like my fall days. I close my eyes and point them at the warmth on my face and take a deep breath, my afternoon yard has that rich humus aroma in varying whiffs from a nasally hint to a pungent blast that I really truly enjoy. If my nose had a favorite sandwich this earthen fragrance wafting about would be one of them. One of my free range chickens, curious at what's falling on the ground comes over to inspect. She pecks and pecks, finding nothing edible, she moves off to peck some more under the leaf litter from one of my semi naked plum trees. One cricket and I'm no cricket expert, but I guess it to be a field cricket is making some random chirping sounds from under the threshold of my garage door. Another hen zips in, peck, peck, and there is one less cricket in the universe. I keep shaving the steel. It does not sound like a cricket but I enjoy the shushing grating sound. I like how it feels to rub the blade of many things sharp, especially my hunting knifes this time of the year. Before this night is over I'll have had my steel to them as well, like shaking a good friend's hand, I've missed them, and I have not seen them in over a year. The leather for each blade will get some oil, maybe not the perfect oil, but they need it. Several Dragon flies float inches above the lifeless lawn and well above them the gregarious cedar waxwings are dining in the highest table of branches eating ripe mountain ash berries. It's a night for the books. These brief moments of time become like paragraphs of life stacked together to fill pages in my life. They just seem to get better and better and believe me like that little black ant trying to get across the drive way before a rapidly approaching rooster now on a similar path sees him, I can truly relate. Nothing is to be taken for granted these days. The trout whisperer

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the schnozz