Finding Fall’s Rhythm



This morning, I threw on warm, loose clothing and filled my lidded coffee cup. I added a tattered wooly blazer and a black felt hat with a large, orange silk flower in the rim. I put the camera in my pocket, and set out for a walk.

The dogs were stunned!

In the last several weeks, every invitation for a walk has turned into a disappointment to them.

Summer traffic discouraged walks down the Fox Lake Road.

Any off-road walks were necessarily abbreviated because of the mosquitoes.

All excursions were limited by my schedule.

There were days when, having arrived home late, I tried to convince them that a brisk jog two or three times around the perimeter of the yard counts as a walk.

Or a few trips back and forth to bring groceries, mail and other supplies in from the car.

A wander through the garden to pick what’s ripe. Perhaps followed by the added bonus of pulling weeds and dead stalks, and adding those items to the compost.

Most often lately (and most convincing, I might add) it has been a long meander through the berry brambles, in the woods and fields that surround my house.

In my busy end-of summer mode, multi-tasking was key.

The dogs weren’t fooled.

They know that when I have my bucket and head for the blackberry bushes, they are getting a “wander” not a “walk”. They follow for a while, then find a patch of sunshine for a nap.

They know a true squirrel-chasing, smelling-every-new-thing, heart-racing walk when they get one.

This morning they got one.

We headed out the back door, across the side yard and through the field to the old logging trail. Dodging mud puddles, we turned left toward the deep woods. We did not turn back at the moss-covered stone that marks the back of my property. The cool morning had at least temporarily quieted the insect population. We took the curve to the right.

Past the little deer blind, tucked into the woods.

Past the cut logs and treetops where Dusty has been cutting firewood.

Around the next bend to the left, then several curves more before we came to the open area with the little hunting camp.

Just beyond the building is a pond, almost completely hidden by the tall grasses this time of year. If we get close, and wait, I’ll sometimes be rewarded by the sight of a Sandhill Crane. A pair of them have nested there for several years now.

The dogs generally find something wet and mucky to roll in, and consider that their own reward.

They were thrilled for the long outing!

They didn’t realize I had more on my agenda than their good jaunt.

I was scouting the path to make sure it was passable for my planned hike with my friend, Judi, this afternoon.

I was gathering ferns and grasses to try out an idea for a children’s art project.

I was taking photos of this lovely Fall day.

Finally, now that cool weather has made the woods more accessible, I was checking to see if the blackberries were producing well out beyond my patch.

This time, happily, they were duped. They thought the walk was for their benefit alone.

This afternoon, with Judi, we retraced our steps for another pleasant walk.

Invigorating, relaxing, beautiful.

Just exactly what we’ve been waiting for, here on the Fox lake Road.

23 responses »

  1. Such great writing! You know how to express yourself so well through the written word! I’m always interested in the excitement of ordinary life and this is just that!

    • You are so kind! E.B.White is my greatest inspiration. He wrote of the everyday, but with such beauty and compassion, and so much respect for the art of writing, that he elevated the ordinary to a state of grace. Thank you for reading, and for your comments!

  2. Gotta love a dog-walking post! Yours sounds like a lovely one. Isn’t it funny how they know!!!!! Interestingly, the coming of fall actually means the arrival of spring here in the southern hemisphere. I’m afraid I’m struggling to get my mind around that new linguistic and geographic reality. Somehow it feels weird.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • Oh, happy Spring to you, dear Kathy! What fun we’ll have, comparing notes of the seasons…though I doubt you’ll have the extreme changes in weather to report on that I will have, here in northern Michigan! Thank you for reading, and for your comments!

  3. Beautiful images, Cindy. I was going to say that it makes me want a dog, but I think the truth is that it makes me want an island! (Thank you for sharing yours.)

    • Yes, dogs can be quite demanding companions. I have to admit, though, there are days when they are the only force driving me out of the house to take a walk! Without the, I wouldn’t be outside appreciating the views on this island nearly as much. Thank you for reading, and for your comments!

  4. Pingback: Do not turn back now | RANDOM NERVES

    • Oh, thank you, Cindy…the hat was an impetuous, last minute addition to my wardrobe that day, but gave the entire walk a jaunty air. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, too! Thank you for reading, and for your comments!

  5. I really like this post. Your descriptive powers are at their best and I feel like I’m right there, trotting along with the dogs. I feel the shift in energy from summer to autumn here too, and am liking it. Thanks for sharing your island experiences with us!

    • It was a great walk…now that my life is falling – a bit more – into a workable pattern, I plan to get lots more good walks in. Of course, bow-hunting season starts today, followed then by rifle season, black-powder season, etc., etc., on until the new year. That makes walking in the woods a dangerous activity for myself and for the dogs. So, it’s leashes, blaze orange scarves and down the road for our walks! Thanks for reading, Claire, and for your comments!

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