I said I wanted to walk new places this year. Well, my husband and I, along with son number two, have traveled to Washington State to visit son number one. It’s beyond delightful seeing my grown-up baby in person again and letting him introduce us to the places he loves in his adopted home state.
Today, we parked and took a 20-ish minute hike down to Clayton Beach near Bellingham, carrying a picnic lunch with us.
Tomorrow, we’re promised to see more gorgeous scenery. This time away from the grind, experiencing new places with my loved ones seems to be at least part of the cure for what ails me. I know the problems of the world will be there waiting when my trip is over, but everyone needs an occasional breather, along with a reminder of the natural wonders that surround us.
Spotted on my walk home from work. Umm…that’s my street. I should be okay on foot, though. Right?
I checked our city’s website after seeing this and determined it is, in fact, my very block that is slated to be under construction. Maybe someone could have told us in a more direct way? At least we know now. And it will be nice when the potholes are gone!
The goal is to find and identify ten varieties of flowers…
My son accompanied me on today’s walk. We’d just received a good amount of rain, so we didn’t seek out any trails, but simply stuck to ambling about the neighborhood. I was able to hear how his work is going and also find enough flowers in bloom to complete the iNaturalist Wildflower Challenge on the Seek app.
The goal is to find and identify ten varieties of flowers, and I had already done seven before setting out. On our stroll, I found three more.
The last time I posted, I’d been looking at some fake skeletons. This morning, I found a real one. Some work colleagues and I participated in a city-wide cleanup effort. We were picking up trash along a busy roadway that had a line of brush a few yards back. In the midst of blown plastic grocery bags and other debris caught in the scrub, I stumbled upon some bones.
I sent the photo to my oldest son, who knows quite a bit about wildlife. He believes this was an opossum once upon a time. I’ll go with that, as on first glance, I thought it was someone’s little family dog that had probably been missing for a long time. I left the bones in place. It seemed like the natural order of things.
My second walk took place this evening right before sunset and was dedicated to enjoyment rather than civic improvement. How about these magnolia blossoms creating a perfect frame for the moon?
My little phone camera always shows the moon a little blurry, but I like the shot anyway.
I haven’t been taking many walks due to days of cold, drizzly rain and a hurt back. All has improved now, though. The son and I went out for a two-mile stroll on this fine spring day, and I was so revivified I wrote a little poem about it.
First the photos:
Late Spring Walk
Forsythia and daffodil
Hellebores, Siberian squill,
Yellow, yellow, pink, and azure
After winter, winter, and winter
White and gray and gray
Spring returns one day
As we have faith it always will.
I was on this stretch of road a few days ago and all looked pretty normal. But sometime since then a door has been installed in the street. Question mark. Where does it lead? An alternate dimension? The fairy realm? Does a troll live under it? Why is it there? Why is there a metal ring handle in the middle?
I guess the handle would be for easy lifting when it needs to be removed, except…
I nearly didn’t take a walk today. It’s cold and I had to work yesterday, meaning I’m behind on weekend household stuff. But see what I would have missed. This is the reward for my effort.
I went to the park near my house, the one I’ve walked through hundreds of times. As I approached the footbridge over the creek, something with an enormous wingspan flew down to the water. I’ve seen a variety of birds around here over the years, but never before a great blue heron.
I watched it for a long time as it waded down the length of the creek, bobbing its head into the water occasionally, once coming up with food it swallowed. The Audubon Society website says this is its normal mode of feeding. After a while, I moved off the bridge and, using all my stealth, made my way down the path wending by the water. I stalked that heron like I was David Attenborough.
Eventually, a couple of other walkers came by, one with a dog and the other playing an audio book out loud. The heron decided to take its leave. Ah well. It was time for me to go home and do something about dinner, anyway.
I’d like to thank the world for the fun surprise today.
Well, I’ve gone and done another 2022 goal. I explored a path I don’t usually traverse on my walks. It’s not brand new to me. In fact, it’s in my old neighborhood, where I used to live twenty years ago. But I haven’t walked over there in a minute or two.
For some bonus exercise I got a bit of rowing in.
I’m not sure if I followed all advisories. ???
I only have specific health conditions, so I’m probably okay.
I survived to continue my journey, and encountered a majestic tree.
Oh, I can never resist a wooden pedestrian bridge! I wonder what’s around the curve on the other side.
My older kid introduced me and my second born to the Seek app, affiliated with iNaturalist. Now we’ve all embarked on the app’s challenges. Son number two lives with me currently and is often game to accompany me on my walks. Today, we took advantage of the 60 degree weather to get in a good walk at an area lake before a predicted winter storm rolls in tonight.
We both had the app open and got our first recorded observations for an official challenge. I had already used Seek a few times to identify plants and wildlife, but then I learned I could do so much more. I even registered at iNaturalist so they can use my photos for science and track where different species are observed.
Here’s a little of what I learned about snow geese today:
There are many challenges within the app, but I’m going to take them one at a time. I’ve started with the Conservation Challenge, which has just a few achievable observation and learning goals, so it doesn’t feel overwhelming. This appeals to me on many levels. It’s a prompt to pay attention to the world around me. I want to believe I’m helping science. I will learn some things!
One of my goals for 2022 is to explore more trails in my area. There are so many of them. This will add to the fun, and maybe spice up my “On Today’s Walk” posts a little.