Come on! We're heading into the pine groove that Ansel planted over 30 years ago. The trees are tall, and dark with a soft, quiet, carpet of moss and a few pine needles (loads of needles help insulate tender plants during the winter months.) A pile of feathers, and partial rodent skull mean that some predator hunts among these pines. Watch the dogs's noses wiggle and snort at the edge of a brush pile. The dogs wade in among the gnarled brunches in search of its occupants. A grey loaf of bunny silently and quickly escapes to another brush pile. The dogs unaware continue their investigation. Let's go and give those critters a rest!
There's more to check out. The little pond is frozen, and the dogs venture out on the water. Cici skitters across the surface in her bounding way of running. Silly's legs seem to move extra fast with dainty strides. You can almost hear the cartoon, high-pitched bell sound accompany Silly across the ice, while Cici gets a snare drum and cymbal. Antro, as always, is just interested in getting closer to those squirrels.
From the pond, we follow the Little Dry Creek (a perennial stream flowing with rains and winter snows) through bushy junipers to the property corner. You must be careful as you jump across the icy rocks, but the dogs have no problem! The stream continues on its way to the South Fork of the Shenandoah River, but we must turn up the hill at the eastern boundary of the property. Your breath might puff just a little trying to keep up with the dogs as they scamper ahead. The hill is home to oaks, maple and hickory whose fallen leaves make for a noisy carpet. Crunch, crunch, crunch up the hill, and down again. The loop leads us back to the house and the end of our walk.
Thanks for going on a walk with us. We'll head out again tomorrow around the same time. The dogs and I hope to see you then.