We took a trip upstate this weekend.
Upstate New York, that is.

Ostensibly, we traveled north for a wedding. But honestly, the long weekend was more about relaxing at my in-law's than anything else. Taking tea at our favorite shop in the nearby town and reading, tucked between couch cushions and pillows as the dogs lay at our feet expectantly. Waiting. We anticipated sunshine, and though it rained all weekend, we hardly minded; August rain in the woods is quiet and beautiful, despite of the humidity that (almost) always follows.

On Saturday morning, the rain paused...and for a few morning moments, we stood in the yard, facing the woods.

We live like city people now (albeit small-city people). But Zack is an outdoorsman at heart. Four months after we had started dating, he took a solitary hiking trip in the Adirondacks, alone, in a blizzard, nearly froze and was almost attacked by a bear. He loved it.

This weekend, he wanted to teach me how to shoot a handgun. And so on that misty, sticky Saturday morning, I humored him. We stood in the field with the trees before us, and sunk a somewhat rudimentary target into the soft ground just before the tree line.

Eyes and ears in place, we fired, his arm around me as he showed by example how it all was to be done. The chickens roosting in the yard scattered when the stillness of the morning was shattered and in response to the loud noises emanating from our recreation, flew toward us.

I am not a huge fan of uncooped chickens.
Frankly, they make nervous. And so while they migrated toward us, settling on pistol cases and nesting in boxes of ammo, I yelled. And when yelling did nothing, I ran to the edge of the woods. Pulling at the tall hedge of weeds and wildflowers, I managed to tug a hefty handful of goldenrod out of the wet earth and ran towards the flocking fowl.

With a quick whip and swish, snapping the air by their feathered heads, I shooed the chickens away from us, muttering short Karimojong phrases to send them on their way.

Crisis averted, I stepped back and looked at Zack, who stood with his arms crossed laughing at my determination. “Sometimes,” he explained, “there is no hiding the girl who grew up in Uganda.”
“Of course,” I replied calmly, standing a little bit straighter. The chickens were terrifying...who wouldn't run at them with whip made from weeds?

It began to rain again, and so we returned indoors, leaving the chickens to find their own means of escaping the summer downpour.
When we left on Sunday morning to return home, the sun appeared and I snapped this imperfectly-focused picture. 

I much prefer wildflowers and fields to chickens.


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