Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Walk Don't Run

Pano-view on Bernard Church Joshua's Trust Property

My daily routine almost always includes a good walk with the dogs.  Our walks average about 2 miles and the dogs don't allow for too much dawdling.  I'm so glad to have the dogs make me get out. I enjoy getting out to see plants and animals, feeling my body warm up, and clearing my mind.  I'm sure if I didn't have the dogs, I wouldn't get out as often finding some work that needed to be done or being chicken of the weather.  As it is, the dogs leap when I reach for their harnesses, and I see their eyes light up to go on patrol for squirrels, smells, and other doggy interests.  As fall sets in, I am enjoying our time before winter comes and keeps us cabin bound.


Since the end of summer camp our walks have ventured farther for two reasons.  First, I met and got permission from two kind landowners, Mr. Russ and Mr. Church, to walk in their wooded land. Secondly, during summer camp the dogs' walks were cut short since I didn't have as much energy after being with kids all day.  We've been walking about 2 hrs per day, exploring every trail and hill we could find.  From our house, the dogs and I can walk in almost 500 acres of undeveloped properties.  This includes Connecticut State Forest, some property owned by a gas company, university owned property, and the two properties owned by the gentlemen mentioned above.  Our adventures have taken us to the top of Rattlesnake Hill, down to Mount Hope River, and everywhere in between.  

Walking the area gives me a chance to notice daily changes in the woods.  It has been such a pleasure to watch the progression of leaves and ground cover change color.  The birch were the first to show yellow, then red maple, now the hickory and ash with oaks following close behind.  Some of the trees are now bare of leaves, while a few are still showing  green.  The light under the trees changes too with the fall colors.  In summer the understory is green, but now there is a yellowish hue and in winter there is stronger contrast in the shadows since there are few leaves to filter the light. The groundcover, ferns and bushes, are also changing colors.  Most of the ferns are yellow or completely brown, and some bushes are dropping their leaves to reveal red berries.

Now, that deer season has started the dogs and I must stick close to the road and limit our big excursions.  We often head out mid-day since deer hunters are more apt to be out at dawn or dusk, and early morning school traffic isn't pleasant since we are on the road.  It is hard to restrict our wanderings but there are still lots of things to see along the way including waggy tails.

And just for fun there's a hobbit home that I found