Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Two Walks

Fall is the perfect time to take long walks. The cold nights have knocked down the mosquito and tick populations so you don't run the risk of being devoured miles from safety and the fields are open and clear after harvest.

I've been trying to take advantage of it, knowing that in another month or so winter will set in and put an end to walking as a recreational sport (but that means skiing season begins!). It's not easy to get away from all the myriad of tasks that demand my attention because fall is also winterizing season.

But thanks to the blessings of divinely mandated Sabbath rest, I've been able to get outside the last two Saturdays and go for nice, long walks.

 I'm thinking of getting an enlargement of this one for my living room. It's the perfect thing to look at during the interminable winter.

My first walk was across the fields to the south. There is a small outbuilding way out there that I wanted to explore. Turns out it was really boring inside, but at least I've set my curiosity to rest.

One thing you quickly discover out here is that distances are very deceiving. That's one reason you have to be very careful in the winter about how far you go.  The barn looked like it was just a short walk, but it was almost two miles from the road.

I find the solitude out here very peaceful. During parts of the walk you couldn't even see any signs of other humans---well, except for the cultivated fields. But there was no one around currently, so it was easy to pretend I was out on the primeval prairie.

Inside the Very Boring Barn.

(If you look in the photo above, the tiny, little tree-dot to center-right is the tree I took pictures of earlier on my walk. My farm is the little blur of trees on the far-right, next to the barn wall.)

The next weekend, I headed north. I'd skied out that direction in winter, but wasn't able to go quite as far as I wanted due to the whole "distances are deceiving" thing. Walking out there now, I was stunned I'd made it as far as I had! That turned out to be a long walk.

By the time I got to the top of the hill "to see the other side", it was already pretty late and I couldn't stay long to enjoy the view. Besides, I managed to stumble into the one pocket of mosquitoes left in our county.

There's nothing like mosquitoes to take away all the poetic enjoyment of a scene!

I'd cut a straight line across the field on the first leg of my trip, but decided to walk back down the little farm track on the way back until I was even with my house. From there, I would cut over to the house, forming a thin triangle by the time I was finished.

There's a series of small, interconnected ponds back there, but I've only been back in winter when they were frozen. I wanted to see what it was like during warmer weather. It looks like a really nice place to hike back to during the spring---lots of animal life to see---but only if you're drenched in repellant first.

  I can't go near any water during nesting season because Finley will chase---and occasionally kill---all the ducks. But by now the babies are grown and the mamas don't have to sacrifice themselves for their children. The whole family can just fly away from the big dope.

The sun was setting by the time we made it back to the house. Our Great Horned Owls were waking up and hooting to let the world know they were on the hunt. The coyote family that lives back by the ponds was starting to yip. Time to go inside and be cozy, safe, and warm.

People, including my dear father, who not-so-secretly hopes I'll move back into town and into an easier house with less stuff to fix, keep asking me if I plan relocate. To go where it's easier, more populated.

Maybe someday I'll have to---if my house finally falls down around my ears, but until then, I love, love, LOVE living out here!

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