dutch doors and dirigibles
This was not a sound I would sensory-recognize any time before this past Friday night. Brett (my lumberjack friend from the Adirondacks) and I went down town to the Cambridge Balloon Festival to watch some of the giant dirigibles take off. We got to stand 20 feet from those wicker baskets and watch the flames shoot right up into the maws of those whales. They took off and hovered around Washington County like something unworldly. Like a slow, happy, alien attack when all the aliens wanted to do was float down and deliver Labradoodles and cupcakes. We watched the sky like ten-year-olds.
Both of us were pretty tired. We (read: he) build a dutch door on the barn for Jasper and shore up the beams inside. The barn here isn't exactly "stable" but it's getting there. All summer small weekend work periods like this of pouring concrete foundations and setting posts and beam supports in the loft helped keep the barn from collapsing. As of yesterday's effort, well, I think we got a few more years out of her. The next project is to build a stall inside for winter housing.
So when I realized that sound I was hearing from a chicken coop was that same burst of flame and hot air, just far away, I yelled to Gibson "TRUCK UP! TRUCK!" and we bolted for the Dodge, barely remembering to run inside for my camera. We peeled out and headed down the mountain to the lower fields and farms where I had watched these giants descend yesterday morning. Brett and I were heading to Stewart's for coffee and workshop-supplies when we drove by a few balloons landing right at the base of my mountain. The same place I let raccoons out of their traps and watch deer run away from my truck into skylined silhouettes. Yesterday, there was a 5-story balloon.
And so my little black dog and I drove south at 6:30 AM to see if once again the balloon was replacing does and convicts. I expected to see it after any switchturn on the road, a huge rainbow blob just past the trees, but it was no where to be found. Was I going crazy? I decided to get out of the truck and walk up the hill, trespassing, but not worried. There's something about looking for giant multi-colored aircraft that makes property lines seem less important. And just at the crest of the hill I saw it, not thirty yards away and a hundred feet up was the beast I heard from the farm. I stood in the tall grass and watched it fly off.
Who else is up at 6AM on a Sunday morning but whimsical air-ship pilots and farmers? A few, I suppose but not many. An odd pairing—and one not a lot of people would assume make sense side by side—but I think we suit each other just fine.