Buckhorn Siesta

Pine forest at Buckhorn Overlook by Hells Canyon

Pine forest at Buckhorn Overlook by Hells Canyon

Large black flies float back and forth in this suppressing afternoon heat, energy emanating with each wing beat. A buzz penetrates my ear as a bumblebee hovers near my face before flying to a penstomom flower for a drink. A horse fly strolls up my finger and across my hand, I feel nothing as each of its six legs repeatedly touch my skin and its proboscis extends and retracts. The resin smell and pine dust make me sneeze repeatedly, blotting out the chatter of a Steller’s jay and the raspy song of a black-headed grosbeak. I rest in the pine needle duff with my back against a large ponderosa pine; its ruff bark scratches my back with each sneeze.  I am in a pine forest bordering Hells Canyon; the clear cerulean skies allow the sun to bake the earth. Temperature rise creating a sauna in the shadows, which makes my skin appetizing to flies. One walks across my shirt covered belly, probing and tasting with each step of its six delicate black legs.  Movement on my knee catches my attention and I watch a wolf spider, an inch across, climb to the butte of my knee, turning slowly, her eyes searching for prey. She jumps to a dead branch between my legs. A shiver rushes through my body, primordial fear rising but I suppress any movement in my legs with what energy I have left. My eyelids begin to fall; thinking as I lie down what holes might be eaten in my flesh if I ever awaken.

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