A Cold Night, a Hammock & a Bird

We could only stay in Gunter Hills campground for 11 days if we split the time between 2 campsites. The first site was the fishbowl corner. We were set to move across the road on a Tuesday.

Monday, Mom and I explored with Fred when we tripped into this old unoccupied campground. Mom asked if we could move there instead of the reserved site. The camp host said sure, but the old section wouldn’t open until Wednesday. That meant we would need to pack up & move two days in a row.

Mom thought if she spoke nicely, she could get permission from the powers that be to move into the old camp a day early, so she called the Corp of Engineer main office & got the Navel Defense dept! Did My Mama simply dial wrong? Nope. The navel guy said they get many calls from people looking for the Corp. Mom thinks the Corp likes the reduced call volume, so no one is correcting the number.

Totally outa character for Mom, but she dropped it; simply accepted we’d move two days in a row. Five minutes later, the camp host called & told Mom we could move to the old section a day early.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen My Mama this exuberantly happy. She was hoot’n & holler’n cuz we would have the entire campground to ourselves for 24 hours. That meant no leash for me and total privacy for Mom.

Mom planned on sleeping under the stars; the trees were perfect for Mom’s hammock, so up that went. After Mom got us all unpacked and situated, she found out the electric in our section didn’t work. Mom switched to solar to keep the electronics charged and sang with gratitude when she realized she had enough propane to keep the refrigerator running overnight.

Mom did a slight wince when she learned the nighttime high was only 37 degrees. She wasn’t worried so much for herself as she was for me cuz she gave our extra blanket away. Mom figured she’d wake up early and give me one of her sleeping bags if I appeared lethargic from frost.

When I was a pup, I would sleep in the hammock with Mom.

As a teen dog, I freaked and ripped all the netting around the hammock, trying to get out. Mom spent an hour sewing it back together. I’ve been banned from the hammock since, which I’ve surprisingly ok with.

All evening Mom was giddy with joy. She could see the stars cuz no huge motorhomes with obnoxious lights were around. She could hear the nightlife cuz there weren’t any generators eating up the natural nocturnal sounds.

This solitude felt so much like real camping that she was inclined to put a fire in the pit.

After a peaceful night’s sleep in her hammock, Mom woke to watch the sun come up. After coffee, she craved bacon and eggs. The chicken man rustled his chickens & grabbed a few eggs; the dollar store had bacon. The extra weight Mom has gained after leaving Minnesota didn’t deter her one bit from enjoying her yummy breakfast. I vigorously lapped up the bacon grease dripped over my evening meal.

Mom laughed at me cuz I could go anywhere and do anything, yet I pretty much stayed in camp. Occasionally, I’d bolt after a squirrel, but I was content laying in the sun after my morning swim.

The bird provided the day’s drama.

Even though there wasn’t a drop of rain in sight, Mom put the tarp over the hammock for warmth.

Mom sipped her coffee as morning peeked through the trees. Her attention was captured by this ridiculous bird building a nest on top of the hammock netting under the tarp. Mom would shoo it away, and the idiot bird would come back; finally, Mom took the tarp off the hammock. Did that foil the persistent little cuss? Nope. The bird decided to fly into the hammock enclosure. I keep telling Mom that she needs to keep the zipper zipped if she doesn’t want creepy crawlers or birds in her resting place.

 I laughed, watching Mom try to get that bird out of her hammock while saying, “Don’t you poop on my sleeping bag, don’t you poop.”

Maybe if Mom hadn’t put the thought in the birdbrain’s head, he wouldn’t have done it. The bird left a nice white splotch of poop as it exited Mom’s bed.

Sadly, that still wasn’t the end of the bird drama. The next place the bird tried to build a nest was in The Ivy!

Yes, the Ivy has a screen door. Obviously for decoration only cuz Mom never remembers to close it.

I watched the debacle with fascination. The foolish bird kept flying into one window after another. Mom had the door and the roof vent open, but birdbrain couldn’t figure it out. After a while, I started to feel sorry for the little guy. Obviously, he doesn’t have many brains, and I don’t think smashing his head repeatedly into the window would be helpful long-term.

I told Mom I could come in and use my mighty persuasion to get the bird to vacate, or she should grab the bird and toss him my way. Mom glared at me while saying I wasn’t helping.

Mom got a towel and told the bird she would gently take him outa the camper as long as he didn’t make any sudden moves. She cautioned the bird; if he made a sudden move, it would scare Mom, and she would scream & helplessly react by tossing the towel and bird.

 The little birdy looked into Mom’s eyes and said she would cooperate with a plead of “please don’t hurt me.”

Mom, with caring sympathy, wrapped the little birdy in a towel & set it outside.

Birdie took a long time getting his witts about him. Once he flew away, he never came back.

Late afternoon a couple of campers found their way into our paradise. They were on the opposite end of the park, so it was still like we were alone.

We are enjoying ourselves so much. Mom extended our stay to the full 14 days. Good, thing she did cuz that afternoon, Mom found out The Ivy needs surgery.

More on that later.

Luv Otis,

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