Sleuth Mode

I don’t know if they’re year-round residents, or seasonal, but a clear view of the side of the neighboring house reveals magpies and a pileated woodpecker vying for the same construction space. Their tactical maneuvers are like watching a Blue Angels airshow.

Hint # 9—If I were a trout (rainbow, brown, or westslope cutthroat) I’d be tickled pink to swim in the river a stone’s throw from my sabbatical location.

My temporary home away from home is glorious. And even though there’s a solid, six-foot wooden fence around it, I had an unwitting guest—a doe—who cleared the fence to get in but was mystified on how to get back out.

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you know I’ve always wanted to be a magician, international spy, and mad scientist. In the blink of an eye, I claimed elements from all three and transformed into sleuth mode.

Mist-like, I slipped out of the house sight unseen, unlatched the gate, and slipped back inside. When the doe took a double-take at the fence, she saw an opening and beat a hasty retreat.

What was your last sleuth-mode escapade?

Reminder, the caveat of the Looking for Laurie game stipulates: “The first person to type the accurate city and state of my sabbatical location into the comments section of the Mar 28 post will receive a personalized copy of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth for themselves or as a gift to someone else.”


48 thoughts on “Sleuth Mode

  1. That was a tricky maneuver, Laurie, and a loving and kind one. Hmmm, I’m a sleuth in so many ways, but the first one that comes to mind is figuring out what others are thinking about. Some call me a mind-reader. I just say that I watch a person’s expressions (in her eyes, her mouth, her ‘essence’) and intuit what’s going on. Then I respond to her in ways that I hope are helpful. Much like you stealthily opening the latch for the doe….

  2. How magical of you! She would have figured it out yet your mystical gate opening relieved her of stress had she felt trapped.
    Much like roughwrighting’s response there are times when people are amazing that I know what they are looking for or what they are asking about even when they are not sure what that is. Observe, listen, respond!

  3. Ha! My last sleuth/or “under the cover of darkness” role occurred when the building in which my impecunious college son had lived for a year, wanted to charge him $200 (!) to use the elevator to move out! (It was not in the lease). I was outraged! “No way you’re paying that!” I told him. We chose a night, and I told him to have everything packed, bed taken apart, and ready to go. I borrowed a van from a neighbor, picked him up from his job (closing at The Gap) at 11pm, drove to the basement garage of the building, and the two of us (by now it was almost midnight) filled the freight elevator, and in about three loads got all the stuff to the garage.Then we loaded the van and drove away undetected! Mission accomplished! His roommates, who did’t follow my advice and tried to move out in the middle of the day, were stopped, and forced to pay the $200. What a rip-off!

  4. I think you are in Montana but have no idea what city because it doesn’t look like a city to me. It looks more like the outskirts of Yellowstone National Park.

  5. I racked my brain for appropriate incidents. Nope, I couldn’t think of one. Except, under dark skies last night and again in the early morning, due to thunderstorms with high winds, I had to wrangle my garbage and recycling cans on wheels. They attempted to escape their street positions and then just fell down on the job. My undercover efforts to bring them back to their duty stations were to no avail. By the time the collectors came around an hour ago, those wandering containers had escaped again. Fortunately, the collectors hunted them down. Sadly, I also discovered a bit ago, a drain pipe from the gutter had also tried to escape. It seems you can’t get reliable help anymore.

  6. Years ago a gentleman planted several acres of good grapes here, with intent of starting a winery. After a few years, the entire plan – and all of the plants – were abandoned, and the property changed hands. So sad to see all those good grapevines get lost in natural overgrowth! My cousin and I planned a “rescue.” We would dress all in black, with our faces smudged and our hair tucked into watch caps. We’d go at night, taking several black plastic bags for transport, and the collapsible camp shovel. One of us would scale the fence, dig up a few plants, pass them over, replace the earth…we planned for weeks! What an adventure it would be! In conveying our plans to a mutual friend – told as a deep, dark secret – she said, “the owner of that property says that anyone that wants to can go and get some of those grape plants, free of charge.” Well, the air went right out of my sails! Then I thought, “the guy that planted them said they weren’t exactly right for this area,” and “I already have two thriving grape vines,” and “sounds like a lot of work to transplant…” I never did get any of those grapes.

  7. Laurie you are a great sleuth! The magpies usually stay year round and may be trying to get the eggs of the woodpecker for a tasty snack as much as they might be trying ti get the house. I haven’t put on my black trench coat and glasses with the mustach for a long while. Too long! Have a great week. 🙂

  8. Very well done to you for such prowess! I would have done the same. Not sure when I last tried my skills, maybe when son was little and put him to be and then tiptoed out of the room without waking him up. Sometimes I leave work a few minutes before I am due and have to pass by Heamaster’s office ever so quietly… 😁

  9. Lovely photo.

    My last sleuth episode was tracking some just washed and dried laundry that seemed to have taken on magical qualities ore maybe just invisible gremlins at work. An errant sock had walked off, and a ponytail scrungie had disappeared. As I am not a quiet sleuth, I charged throughout the house, retracing my steps and finally found the culprits in various places in the laundry room

    Now I plan to stakeout the laundry room – in the dark but with a flashlight.
    Gremlins (or whoever you are) beware. I am very persistent.

  10. Sleuthing? I don’t know, does determining whether the leak under the bathroom sink was a connection or the water line tubing itself count? Or determining what’s eating the rabbit food I’ve been putting out, whether it be rabbit or squirrel or birds or – Shasta? I believe it was Shasta.

  11. When the summer sun is too toasty hot deer (some with very large racks) hide under our deck. They freak-out when disturbed and charge.
    Last summer, my dog and I approached the area. Sleuth-mode enabled me to see him before he saw us. My skilled (if I say so myself) maneuvering allowed the buck to disappear into the woods before my dog picked up his scent.

  12. Chameleons slither around everywhere in Florida. When I’m not looking, they slide through the door of our lanai and get trapped. At 2-3 inches long and faster than a speeding bullet, they are too fast for me.

    When I see one inside the screen, I enable their escape by leaving open the door. They often find their way out to the patio without my help. They are probably more sleuth-like than I am.

    I’ve enjoyed reading the other sleuth stories here. I have to believe they are true. Good questions ferret out good answers.

  13. Hi Laurie,

    The true art of Sleuth Mode is being able to hide in plain site, to be clearly present yet to be seen by all those who would see you as a threat as something other than what you are.

    Some of us claim that the even greater art, is being in plain site, being that which is in some contexts a threat, and simultaneously being an even greater benefit in other contexts. Using sleuthing as a tool in the service of a higher good for all – in an analogous way to that in which your sleuthing was of benefit to the doe.

    You know my website. I’m a daily practitioner 😉

  14. Your posts make me smile. Your location reminds me of our lives in Mammoth Lakes, California in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. My sleuthing has been to find the best health care professionals to help me during my recovery for my “healing broken leg.” Hope your writing process is going as well are you want! Cheers, Sheila

  15. We have the most delightful jackdaws that try desperately to get into Colin’s ( my hubby’s) workshop to no avail …failing that, they yell for more ginger in the form of biscuits or cake. They wait in ambush…can you blame them I’m rather partial to a bit of ginger cake …lashings and lashings of it …aren’t you ?xxx

  16. Laurie, even though I have raged and torn my hair over deer getting into my garden and decimating my vegetables, I would never like to see one trapped or in distress. But my life is rather slow and pokey this Spring, the last investigative digging I’ve done has been in search of a certain Lebanese squash I am eager to grow. My quests are usually small and never earth-shaking but still quite rewarding when I score!

  17. Being well grounded right now, not very sleuth y. Your pictures look beautiful and I am sure by your words that the location is lovely and breathtaking. Thank you for letting the doe out. Now that was a nice gesture….

  18. Missoula??????????????????? You would make a great international spy! I’m calling my contacts with the James Bond film franchise to get you a part in the next one!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.