Adrien’s Many Trails: Sept. 26, 2019

For many years now I’ve lived next door to Moab’s two creeks, Mill Creek and Pack Creek. In fact the two come together on a corner of what used to be my property, but is now Zane and Molly’s property. Flood zone? That’s a good question. Maps probably say one thing, but through the years of floods from time to time, they never came very high up on either parcel.

One thing the creeks have to offer aplenty is wildlife. Deer, bears, mountain lions, skunks, birds of many sizes and colors, bats, squirrels. You name it, and it’s probably been around.

My latest visitor was a squirrel. Ground squirrels are thick on the west side of town.

Squeak, squeak, chitter, chitter. The sound was coming from my bedroom, and as the evening wore on last weekend, it didn’t show any signs of stopping. I’m the lone human occupant now of this four-bedroom home. A dog door was installed years ago. It now accommodates my two cats, the neighborhood dog, and whatever else may be curious about what’s in the kitchen and laundry room. Humans included, but small humans. Not children that I know of.

At any rate, I was not about to try sleeping in a room with an excited squirrel yelling out his or her dismay. I chose one of the other options.

Obviously the squirrel had come in through the cat door. Why? Chased by something larger than itself, most likely.

By morning, the critter had shut up, and I was able to spend a couple of hours in my own bed, accompanied by my two cats, Goldie and Grayson (such original names). Later in the weekend the ruckus started up again, this time from behind the dryer in the laundry room. My bedroom and the laundry room are at opposite ends of the house, so my small visitor had done some extensive prowling around.

Son Zane chased it out. The dog was in hot pursuit. The squirrel disappeared. I haven’t seen or heard from it since and assume it has joined its friends and relatives living in the old cottonwood tree out front. And speaking (or writing) of old trees reminds me that Moab, and much of southern Utah, once hosted a fledgling silk industry.

History books tell of it, but my proof is in the large mulberry tree, also out front. Silk worms eat mulberry leaves. Lots of them. Nothing else. During my many years as a yarn spinner, I have read about raising silk worms. It’s too extensive a job for me to want to do these days. Well, it never was.

If I want to spin silk, I buy it ready to spin. In a recent jaunt, three of us Moab spinners joined others at Shuttles, Spindles and Skeins in Boulder for three days of spinning classes. What fun. And what a small world. One of the ladies, talking about her guild, said one of its members was absent from an activity in Albuquerque recently.

“That’s because she was at my house,” I had to say.