Getting in a Walk

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As Wilma and I prepare for a trip to Europe this summer, we have to get into walking shape.  I have begun in a good way.

 

Here in our town, we have an arboretum that offers a good chunk of trails to enjoy.  Today I walked three and a quarter miles, toting my camera along with me just in case anything interesting shows up.

 

And as I walked, I recalled the many times I hiked along similar trails near my hometown, usually walking the trails for some hunting – rabbits and partridge, mostly.  The conditions were similar – unpaved trails, wide enough for 3 or 4 people to walk side by side, grown over to some degree, occasional patches of sand showing through, and a few lingering puddles from the melting snow.  I picked up a great deal of familiarity with that kind of forest environs.

 

The Arboratum offers a network of trails over a good chunk of distance.  Even with today’s longer walk, I could have gone further than I had; probably another mile further north at least.  Trails are named after the Ojibway tribe, acorns, pioneers – and more.  The area is not as hilly as other trails in the county, but there’s plenty of up and down hill parts to make it interesting.

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Today as I started away from the car, a pileated woodpecker flew from the north, landing nearly silently, high in a tree near me.  He caught my eye with his bobbing flying pattern so typical to woodpeckers – he sat at the top for a while as I took a picture or two and then flew back the way he came.   As I walked further, I could hear him squawking as he disappeared further into the arboretum.

 

I wove my way through the trails – I’m still learning the names and where they connect with each other – the first mile was still pretty much within the lighted trails, which are flatter.  As I got further north, the trail rolled up and down more than it had in that first mile.

 

I was surrounded by trees on all sides – pines, birches; the ground was covered with a good deal of trees that had fallen over the years.  The ground was covered with fallen leaves, moss – your usual forest floor cover and underbrush.

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As well as the rolling, the arboretum also has some wetlands to walk by.  At this early time of spring, nothing is growing yet, but I could see that there will be ferns and reeds in the wetlands to go along with all those trees.  Further north into the trails, there is also a red pine tree farm of sorts – I haven’t learned the details yet, but there I was, among some tall pines, straight as soldiers hoisting their branches into positionSONY DSC.

 

As I looped around and headed south back through the arboretum, I came across a pair of nuthatches high in a tree, chirping back and forth about the day’s activities.  Further on yet, a pair of white tail deer scampered away from me – I couldn’t get a picture of them through the brush, but there they were.  I share here a pic from a previous visit when I did actually see the deer there, when they seemed to be posing for me.

 

And finally, to end my day, I exited the woods and into a more open area – and there, seen for the first time since last fall, were robins.  Not just one or two, but an easy 2 or 3 dozen.  They hopped on the ground as they do – sat on tree branches, flew around.  My first real sighting of any birds of the freshly arriving spring.  I considered it a nice way to end my walk for the day.

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I have a feeling you’ll be hearing more about my walking as time passes.   This was worth it.

 

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