Today ends my four-day weekend break from work and if you have read my recent posts, it was a break I needed in the worst way. I made a terrible mistake late last night and looked at my e-mail account at the office and found it to be dreadfully long and work-filled. Whenever I decide to take two days off, I pay for it!
This morning I needed to make a decision. I had already accomplished a few goals around the house over the weekend, i.e. cleaning the hardwood, etc. How will I spend my last day of freedom? How will I relax and rid the evil spirits at the office that haunt me? Go the mall and browse the new spring fashions and perhaps stop at the Lancome counter (love it!)? Or, shall I drive to the Latta Nature Preserve and explore a bit? My decision was a quick one as I am finding out that there is no better form of relaxation than to explore and experience natural places for the benefits of simplicity and quiet. Better yet, it’s free. One gallon of gas is all it costs.
The Audubon trail was slightly disappointing (I wanted bird shots) but I did see some unusual tree formations and met some fisherman on the lake. They were quiet and respectful men. I was alone and felt somewhat skittish but I overcame that feeling half-way through the hike.
Ok. It’s a Blue Jay, but I haven’t seen or noticed a Blue Jay since I lived in Baltimore. Honestly. I remember them attacking my Mother’s cat. Loud creatures, they are, but very beautiful. My photos stink today but it was fun trying. No waterfowl today, either!
The lake edged the trail and while I was thinking of how great this hike is for strengthening the ROM in my left foot (recent surgery related), I descended off-path and found myself in slow motion, gracefully slipping down an embankment. I heard voices nearby on the trail and while I was brushing soil from my butt, two Russian fishermen asked me if I was an employee and if I knew what time the parked closed. Now, how could they think a lady wearing make-up, a camera around her neck, and brushing off wet leaves from her ass was an employee?
Feeling a bit frustrated, after I listened, stopped, and looked that gave me little excitement with birds, I drove away from the Audubon trail but saw another on my way out. I knew I had to stop when I saw a hawk circling the parking area. It was an equestrian and hiking trail and screaming with birdsong. After a few minutes, I reached a spot that was incredibly quiet, motionless, and peaceful to the point I could hear myself breathe. All thoughts were away from what I’ll face tomorrow. Awesome peace, althought short-lived. Nice.
Being so alone in the woods can be eerie. I saw fresh dog dung, heard a bark, so I found a tree branch and kept it with me. Even though I’m a die-hard lover of dogs, a stray dog scares the hell out of me. Of course, a vicious dog would eat the stick and me, too. HA! I placed my walking stick against the split in this tree and wonder if it will still be there when I return.
There were woodpeckers busy hammering away and since they have decided not to visit my feeders, I took many shots of them. This female hairy was a treat. It was so nice to see her spiral the tree without caution. A lifer!
This red-bellied was also unconcerned and quite busy.
After a few hours, I headed home to enjoy my own backyard.
A pair of Bluebirds that I haven’t seen at home in a while.
Bluebirds are too darn special to be seen in the gutter!
For dinner tonight we are having soup I made yesterday - delicious bean soup with ham and some pumpernickel with real butter.
Am I ready to return to work tomorrow? Not really. Looking at this pot of soup gives me an idea, though…
Maybe it will serve as good ammunition to keep problematic people away from my office? Yes! (tee-hee)
festival of Lights
2 weeks ago