Smokin’ Mirrors

Must be my need to reach for something interesting in light of the plot “twist” that confronts us now in the Trailverse… (Fire?  Really??) But I am reminded of an instance where I was delivered feedback on a presentation that I had made at a client (years ago…) where a certain audience member was skeptical of my message and didn’t believe what I was sharing…  The member of the client team present during their internal meeting to discuss my proposal came back to tell me that Mrs. Skeptical thought it was all “Smokin’ Mirrors…”  I looked at the messenger and asked her did she mean “Smoke and Mirrors?” and she looked at me quizzically not knowing that there was an expression like that or even what it meant…  Ever since I have always gotten a chuckle every time I hear or think of that phrase…

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So back to the plot twist…  the third plague of fire has been delivered (the first being the latter day form of locust- Emerald Ash Borer, the second being flood- brought about by beaver) and now Wally’s fate is sealed.  No marriage to Susan, no little Wally’s running through his trees, not a prayer for a happy life.  Mark, I think your work is done here…  go home to Lost Forest before a stampede of Moose befalls them…

Well, that’s another way to take care of those “darned beetles…”

With all the woods reduced to charcoal, the EAB will have no habitat, and at least THAT problem is solved…  Oh Wally, Wally, Wally.  Nature must hate you.  Your dreams are literally about to go up in smoke…  Unless the beaver pond has formed a natural firebreak…  and saves your stand of trees from a fiery doom…

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Nice to see that Abbey has taken on a time-honored Trail-trait ~ talking aloud to oneself to no one in particular…

Meanwhile, Bambi and the other forest fauna are heading to safety after the poor outdoor manners of Eddie and his friend are defying all logic and reason, starting a conflagration…  we haven’t seen one of those since Ol’ friend Wes and and wife Shelly turned Slumber Mountain into a moonscape

Go ahead, Wally, go get your rifle…

…you are probably as good a marksman as you are a forester…  which ain’t sayin’ much…  As the Beaver pair looks on through clouded, nearsighted eyes, they can only be saying, “What? This is what we do…  the only thing we know…”  Wally needs to find a little understanding, that generosity of spirit that will allow him to see the bigger picture…   all the wildlife that the beaver pond will attract will keep him in food and fur forever…  or something like that…

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…so as Mark Trail thinks about relocation and Wally contemplates Beavercide, to bad I don’t know anything about Justin Bieber, otherwise I could be making bad jokes about that…

Wally and the Beaver(s)

Ok, that one was just waiting for me for weeks now and it only just occurred to me… Leave it to Beaver!  Big brother Wally… The Beaver, Eddie Haskel, Lumpy, Beaver’s friends Whitey and Larry Mundello… and Ward and June Cleaver!

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Oh, Wally… what’s a couple of trees between you and all of Nature that makes it possible?  You should be marveling at the spectacle, the diligence, the engineering!!  All this pair wants to do is settle down and make some kits… and they need a lodge and a pond to do that…  You should take note and start your own brood…

But wait, Wally, the best is yet to come!  Fire!

Et tu, Beaver??

Yeah, Abbey…  You go do your Wasp-thing, The waters are rising!  And Wally is taking note of this “something isn’t right here situation…”

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This is what I have been waiting for, but honestly it’s sort of an anticlimax…  Maybe because I am on “Team Beaver,” and not “Team Wally…”  I mean really, how can anyone root for a dumb-ass?

Where there is smoke…

There’s fire.  Eddie, you are a poor excuse for a camper- a terrible steward of our natural resources…  To leave Mother scarred by an open fire pit and to leave a fire smoldering to boot!  Obviously you were never a Scout or trained properly and made to recite the Outdoor Code!  But nor is it likely that a tree of such girth would a) collapse so abruptly or b) catch fire so readily…

This does however lay to rest the age old question of whether a tree falling with no one around makes a sound…  clearly it does!!

I have to say, though, that our campers would be much happier if they did not have packs the size of small refrigerators on their backs…

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Oh, Wally, does this mean that you are now facing financial ruin by fire?  Good Lord, this guy can’t catch a break, can he??

Wally asks an intelligent question!

Good Job, Wally you have settled down enough to allow yourself some level of understanding- now you know that it’s HUMANS that aid in the spread of invasive species like Emerald Ash Borer and Zebra Muscle…

And it appears that James Allen has also grown weary of this part of the story as he abruptly introduces us to yet more cast members!   Sort of reminds me of the movie Grand Canyon, written and directed by Lawrence Kasdan, where we are introduced to 6 people, all living out lives full of challenges, only to have all the various story lines converge in one meaningful, seminal moment…  we can only hope…  But of course our story involves the Trails (limited challenges) Susan and Wally (whose challenges I am loathe to list) the beaver pair (not human, but hey, this IS the Trail-verse…) and these two- Eddie and what’s-his-name, (who are currently throwing in the towel…)

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and remember the bugs?  Everywhere?  Interesting…