I consider myself a tough ole bird. I’m fairly adventurous so I often get myself into a pickle. Most of the time I just remain calm, think through the situation logically and find a way out. Other times though, I get stuck. Sometimes quite literally.
For the last ten days or so cranes have been congregating around our village. They’re pretty noisy, so even when you can’t see them you can hear them. I’ve made a few attempts to get close but they always get skittish and fly off, so I have to settle for watching them from afar.
Yesterday I went down a particularly muddy road in search of red deer. The rut is due to start soon and I had been told there were a few stags in the forest at the end of this road. As I was driving I spotted a huge congregation of cranes off to one side. They were partly hidden by the long grass, so I drove further to try to get a better angle. I obviously got too close – they took to the sky.
As it happens, my car got stuck in the mud on this particular road last year and I had to call hubby to be rescued. To avoid a repeat scenario, this time I decided to park my car before the road became really mucky and go the last few kilometres on foot. It was a gloriously sunny day and I would enjoy the walk. Going on foot would also enable me to sneak up on the cranes and get a better shot.
I was in my wellies (muck boots) and wasn’t too concerned that the field was a bit mucky. I just took my time, taking in all the sights and sounds. All of a sudden one foot disappeared deep into the mud. I wriggled to get it free, but this seemed only to push my foot deeper in. I pulled and pulled, side to side, pointing my toe, anything I could think of to get my foot free. I was carrying an expensive camera with long telephoto lens attached, so didn’t really have use of my hands. I was also being a bit tentative in case I fell face first (and camera second) into the mud.
Finally, after much effort, the boot slid heavily out of the mud. Phew! I went to walk on, but in the time it had taken to free my boot, my second foot had become stuck. For several minutes I wriggled and wriggled but it might as well have been cemented in – there was no budging it. I looked back at my car, about 1 km away. I looked at my boots, now both stuck. I started to panic. I knew Arunas was working and I didn’t want to drag him away because my feet were stuck in mud. What on earth was I going to do?
I decided that my biggest hindrance was the camera. If I could get rid of that I could use my hands to dig my boots out. So I took my feet out of the boots, carefully removing my socks in mid-air and placing them back into the boots to keep them dry. Then I walked the kilometre back to the car in my bare feet. I deposited the camera safely, then walked back in my bare feet for my boots. I dug them out with my hands and carried them back to the car. I was too afraid to put them back on in case I got stuck again. When I got to the car I washed my hands and feet in a puddle, dried them with an old t-shirt, then put on my socks and shoes (which were in the car) and drove home for a very strong coffee.
Suffice it to say I will not be going down that lane again, red deer or not!