But it wasn't the lurching dog that scared me most this morning. When I was walking up a trail at Bellevue I saw a lady coming toward me. Lagging behind was what I assumed was her small dog. I wondered if she was aware how far her charge had fallen behind.
"No," she said, "that's a cat."
I continued walking and the cat continued coming toward me. It was a black and white feline looking somewhat like a combination of my own Brad and Hobo Joe. It came up to me going meow, meow, meow. I reached down and stroked its head. It was clearly well fed and cared for, not a feral.
I bent down and tried to reason with the cat. It is very hard to reason with a cat. Cats operate on their own terms. It went meow, meow, meow and rubbed my legs.
Now, back in Rockwood, I wanted to show you about the lower plateau and finish up this tour. So let's enter the gate to the pastureland and see what there is to discover there.
I went down these steps, gingerly I might add, to the lower layer of our cake (not to confuse anyone with MacArthur Park). Then I walked around the embankment to see what might be there.
One was this doorway in the side of the hill. I didn't attempt to go inside. Perhaps this was the spring house or perhaps it is a root cellar.
Root Cellars were used to store vegetables and fruit to keep them fresh. Farms and homesteads sometimes had more than one such utility and kept separate product in each. If this is the case, this one is certainly far more rudimentary than the Fruit Cellar we visited before. Maybe that one was used for the more glamourous apples, peaches and pears and this lowly dungeon was for the string beans and beets.
Sometimes these cellars were used to store home made alcoholic beverages, especially the illegal kind. Maybe that was the case here and is why it was tucked away beneath ground behind a lot of brush.
I don't know the hole-in-the-wall's purpose anymore than I do this wooden chute and bin. I really wonder what they would have brought down the narrow path above to drop down the chute.
Things to store in the Root Cellar?
It's a mystery to me.
Now let me go back a bit.
When I approached this couple, lady and dog, I said, "Well, you'll never get lost in the woods, they can always follow the sound."
She laughed and said he did like to bark, it went with the breed.
"Oh, what is he?"
"He's a Sheltie." [For those unfamiliar with this breed, Sheltie is a nickname commonly used for the Shetland Sheepdog, you know the same place known for ponies.]
"I thought he might be a miniature Collie when I saw him."
"A lot of people think that about Shelties. They were developed in the Shetland Island to herd sheep. Thus they bark a lot. They had to bark to keep the sheep in line."
Now as I stood in the lower plateau taking the photo of another gazebo I heard a familiar yap-yap-yap. I glanced over to the next pasture and there was the lady tossing a stick about, playing a game with the Sheltie. I turned and snapped their play.
I left them to their game and turned my attention to the large pasture below me where this other gazebo stood.
I walked down and entered the booth.
I have a thing for shooting picture through things. I'm just weird I guess.
This is the view from the gazebo of the hill with the man-made cave and the bin. The mansion sits on the higher plateau behind that cluster of trees.
I like this picture.
But what else is there down in this lower level. I shift around and shoot out through a different side. This gives me a view of the drive that enters the park as it meanders through the pasture.
There is also some kind of ruin in the photo. We will have to go down and investigate what that is.
I have a friend who asks a question. Like me he is a walker and a picture-taker. He takes beautiful photos and he is getting better and better at it every year. You can find some of his photos on his Blog, "Retired in Delaware". Anyway, he asked the question,