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.