Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Urban Sasquatch Journal: Mixing It Up

LINK to all installments

NOTE:  Green highlighter is done on the items that were moved between visits. 

"Mixing It Up"

April 15, 2014

I arrived at the parking area at 4:48 p.m. This time, I walked and jogged to the tires set-up location, about 3/4 of a mile from where I parked. 

I walked down the grassy area and needed to relieve myself, so I stopped at the old fire pit and did what I had to. I guessed it possible this might be taken as a "territorial marking" and I would probably find out in the near future on a visit, if anything was offended.

I then went to the set-up location, but as I passed the extended bushes and trees on the grassy area, I heard what sounded like jogging steps in the woods to my left (east). After three steps, it stopped. I was now approximately 50 feet from the trail entry at the tree line. I did not stop or look around, but continued on as if I didn't hear it.

I had also decided that, besides my signature stick formation, I would whistle loudly before entering the set-up area, to warn. I figured that might be a regular pattern that shows they can count on me to not surprise them, but to let them know I've arrived. Whoever "them" were. I still had yet to know for sure what I was dealing with, but future experiments might help narrow the field of possibilities.

As I approached the trail entry, immediately I saw the 2 tires that had been stacked back on the original set-up stack spot. This was to the left of the trail entry outside the tree line. The original foam rectangular piece was now within these 2 tires. The large limb and branches used to block the entry had been moved to open the entry again. The long large limb was laying in the grassy area again from the trail entry opening.

The other 2 tires and items were approximately in the same spot, just jostled around. Also noted were 3 limbs laid out from the in-area set-up on the ground, pointing to the west or grassy area. 

What did this mean? Did it want me to leave - take my stuff and get out of the woods? Is that what it's pointing toward?

My next order of business was to check the gifting bucket and all 3 items were still there, nothing taken. Hmm....

While moving in this small area, I made a decision to speak my name and say I was a friend, that I came in peace and held my arms and hands outstretched.

I took the items from the bucket and held each one up to be seen. I demonstrated how to use the mini spade/pick-axe.

Again, I rearranged the 4 tires as a new set-up. The 2 tires outside the trail entry, I changed from a stack to upright.

The 2 tires inside the tree line in the woods, I moved to the cedar tree break, putting one tire on the break, the other under the tree pointer and added a long limb and cross branches with a bone.

On the arch limb, I put a green plastic bottle, stuck on a broken branch of the limb. I used the long limb in the grassy area to put over the 2 tires which are now on the grassy area. I then left that area.

I heard no more movement or jogging steps. I did not want to pursue the point of origin. I was trying to keep my boundaries and their boundaries well delineated so they didn't feel I was poking around their places.

Whatever or whomever was observing me, I figured was a bit startled by my change in usual time of day to arrive. I decided to visit the site again the next day and see if things happened earlier. I would also plan to bring a bag of open peanuts with shells, apple, orange and banana.

It was time to mix routines up and check for adaptability on their part.

April 16, 2014

I arrived at the park approximately 3:45 p.m. I walked and jogged over to the bridge on the hike-bike trailer. With my binoculars, I scanned the tree line and grassy area to the south before I approached.

I moved in to check out the old fire pit area and see if anything had been moved since I relieved myself there the last time. All was the same, even the old gallon jug of water sat in the same place as always.

As I passed the brush and small trees growing out of the tree line into the grassy area, heading east, to my left side, a little ways back inside the tree line, I heard a movement. This time it wasn't steps or jogging, but quick movements and then it stopped. Deer? Later, as I was at the gifting bucket, I would again hear quick movement of something in the leaves to the north of me, but then it stopped.

It had been less than 24 hours since I'd been there. I wanted to come soon after to see if responses to my set ups happened immediately. And, if this visit was any indicator, I was right!

I discovered these things -

1.  Three of the four tires had been moved again out to the grassy area beyond the trail entry. This included the larger rectangular foam piece next to the tires and a plastic lid. 

2.  The one tire left under the cedar tree break now had the bone inside of it.

3. All the other items left on the gray trash can lid were still there.

I went about creating new set-ups -

1. I left four tires with four limbs around the gifting bucket.

2. I left a small pile of items around the blue, round, plastic item with two sticks.

3. I put a lid with limbs and the bone on the cedar tree break.

4. At the trail entry, I put two limbs as a pointer.

5. I left food in a bag at the gifting bucket; orange, apple, banana, a Snickers bar.

I left the area by walking north inside the east tree line and discovered a group of old concrete drain pipes. I took a photo of this.

I decided to return the next day to see if things happened again in the ensuing 24 hours. I would bring an open bag of peanuts and add to the food bag at the gifting bucket.

I readily admit to myself that the location has shown some activity that is interactive, no doubt about it. I find myself looking forward to each visit, wondering how this interaction will evolve over time and what we might learn - from each other.

April 17, 2014

I went again to the set-up area to see if activity had taken place in the past 24 hours. I arrived at the parking area at approximately 4:45 pm and made it to the spot just after 5 pm.

When I reached the bridge to begin walking to the set-up area, two young boys were sitting and doing sketches of the grassy ditch and tree line area to the south and creek.

I passed by them and continued to walk to the south along the east tree line. I reached the trail entry and did my observations.

Every set-up, to my eyes, had been undisturbed and all items remained in place.

As I entered the less dense interior, I noticed some type of movement in the woods to the north. It was probably some animal, but I wasn't sure. The ground in that area was covered with dead leaves and downed limbs, branches, et cetera. It was hard for me to move where the leaves were and not make some kind of noise.

The four spots I had set-ups would need checking again. It put into the gifting bucket an open bag of peanuts with shells. After this, I proceeded south to the main creek and observed the surrounding area for a few minutes when I walked back to to the north. I crossed the ditch to the west and walked along the west tree line to observe what could be seen inside the tree line. I continued north to the hike-bike trail and walked back to my car.

I pondered the idea of returning in the morning with my bike and going to the right-of-way and check out the past two active spots. I also considered driving around at 2 a.m. I made a mental note to check the park gate to see if they lock it overnight. I would also check out the soccer fields, gates and also see how the lighting was in the area. I needed to know these things if I was thinking of hiking in after dark, to sit and listen during the night.

At this point, I wasn't sure what to make of the lack of reaction in the past 24 hours. It had moved things around on my prior visit within the last 24 hours, so it might not have been checking the site every day, but making a circuit. If something happened one time, it could be a fluke, if it happened again, it might be a pattern.

I could make no assumptions about these interactions other than I was being as random as they were.

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