Returning to My Walks…

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Chilly wind blowing;

Birds chirping; Watching cows…geese,

Time for walks again.

 

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My schedule has finally eased up again, and so I have been looking forward at the prospect of incorporating my daily walks….or almost daily walks, like I did last year.

What discoveries shall I make this year?

Well, it was fun to see the neighbour’s tractor trundling along the path leading to this fenced-in pasture, bringing with it a bucket full of hay.  You should have seen how fast the dairy cows got moving, once they saw the “delivery” truck!  Feeding time!

And before I had arrived at that spot, I was walking past some trees, and there were several birds flitting about among the branches and calling out their songs.  Cheerful and happy and going about their business.  I think I caught sight of a goldfinch…..??

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There were two Canada geese couples looking as if they were settling in on one of the farm fields down the road.  I watched them.  They checked me out.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get photos of them.  However, if they ARE making a temporary home there, I hope to see them again on a subsequent walk.

I had the wind blowing into my face on the way back…..even with a jacket on, it felt oh so Brrrrr!!

 

 

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Sunset Walk

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Looking at the sky,

In serenity’s embrace

I breathe in deeply.

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Went for a late afternoon walk on Wednesday…..figured it would do my wheezy lungs some good. It did. It has become my walk of peacefulness and appreciation.  A quiet time to think or just to look around and enjoy the scenery. Sometimes it isn’t all THAT quiet…..hahaha!…..when there are oodles of cars and trucks coming through! But there were quiet spells for sure.  A friend commented to me yesterday that she also enjoys her walks where she lives – she lives out in B.C.  (British Columbia) and therefore…..heaven.    There are beautiful mountains in B.C. so the scenery is quite spectacular.  And where I am the landscape is dotted with family farms and fields and small woods.  Different for sure.  I wrote back to her with “I live in heaven, too. Heaven is where one is…..in one’s heart.”

I noticed that the sun was on the descent towards the horizon  as I left the house, so I anticipated seeing a progression of views with the sun saying “good night.”

Here are some of those views…..

You’ll notice……there’s no snow!  Although it does happen in some years, for December, around here, that’s quite unusual.

Ice in the Hole

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Temperatures drop.

Clear icy layer fills in;

Odd-looking  globules.

 

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On my afternoon walk today, the wind felt quite brisk.  I had dressed warmly enough and was thankful for the sunshine, too.

The farmers have prepared all the crop fields for their winter’s rest.  So many trees stand bare.   Waiting.  Anticipation.  They will sport the glistening icicles, whilst the conifers get to wear the white dresses.

The road was dry and clear, and I almost missed this frozen indentation.  As soon as I saw it and how it formed so strangely, I wanted to share this discovery.  It was the only spot on this road that retained some water . Right up to the edges of the hole and,  even with its unusual layers and bits, was still strong enough to withstand the warmth from today’s sunshine.

I also like how the one leaf is caught up in the ice embrace.

And this is a broader view of the road and where the hole was found.

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Coincidence….AND Six Degrees of Separation

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The weather this week has been glorious!  It’s November, and instead of the usual cold setting in, this week’s temperatures have been reminiscent of our September ones!  Everyone I have been talking to has been enjoying this unique warm interlude.

Which brings me to the new someone I met today – and we ALSO talked about the amazing warm weather streak.  Well, this is where the coincidence part comes in, because the warm weather inspired both of us to go outside…..me for my hour-long walk up my country road, and she for her hour-long bike ride where part of her route is along the same country road.

Timing is everything sometimes!

I was on my return leg of the walk and happened to notice something white huddled in front of the fence on the one side of the road.  I was puzzled, because I hadn’t noticed it earlier when I walked by.  As I got closer, the white huddle turned into a human form that stretched back to a standing position.  She had noticed me coming along, and so we each said hi.

Next surprising aspect is that we were new to each other; this was our first encounter.  But as people sometimes will do if they meet along a bike path or walkway, we started talking…..about what we’re doing, about the fine weather, etc.  so, she told me that she’d been taking a photo of something that had caught her eye, and she showed it to me.  She had wanted to capture the sunset’s golden rays as they danced off of a particular plant.  It looked good.

And THEN we introduced ourselves!  Hahaha!  Christine and Michaela.  Christine looked at me a bit more closely and said that she thought I looked familiar somehow and wondered from where.  I didn’t recognize her.  Eventually, we pieced it together.  Via facebook and a mutual friend.  In the listing off of potential mutual friends who lived in town some 10 km away, we quickly found our mutual one.  And things started clicking into place!  Christine and I decided we TOO would connect on facebook once we returned to our homes, and it was then that I noticed another mutual friend…..intriguing, I might add, because I had only JUST met this person last week!

This is when I marvel at the perfect timing……you know, having met Louise (the other mutual friend) the week before, and then the happenstance encounter on the country road (we could have missed each other so easily if either one of us had decided to go earlier as we often did).  And the other two people we knew….that’s where the six degrees of separation comes in.

Life is just SO cool!  I started for my walk, thinking “what kind of nifty things would I see and what kinds of surprises might be in store?”  And even before I met Christine, I had already been enthralled with all sorts of other discoveries on my walk of which I took plenty of photos!

But that’s coming up in a future blog post.  I promise.

(In the photo above, Christine gave me a final wave from her bike as she headed back for her home.)

Poetry from My Walks

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Dry is the cornfield;

Tall and Silent.  And in front

My shadow dances.

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Early evening

Where the sun hangs in a tree –

See the flying geese?

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A stately maple,

Standing tall and fully dressed,

In golden yellow.

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A Surprised Squirrel

Stops…..we watch each other……Runs

Then comes the scolding!

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Cabin by the woods,

Blends with every season’s hues,

Saying, “Come on in!”

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As I head back home,

Flying high above….honking

“It’s time to migrate!”

Back on the Road Again….

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Unusual view;

Short things up close are taller

While tall things look small.

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Why the title?

Firstly, I have been away from blogging, although not entirely by choice.  It became a necessity.  My laptop was not doing well, and so I decided to take it in to the Geek Squad at Best Buy.  Exactly.  Enough of this dilly-farting around.  Get to the meat of it finally.  Solve it.  Or fix to make it as good as possible again.  Trust me, I missed my blogging world.  And then there was the keeping up with daily e-mails and messages (that’s when the iPhone had to step in more….only for the messages though).  So, as you can imagine, I fell quite a bit behind on that part.  On the other hand, it did free me up to do other things, like tackling projects or tasks that had been…..well, you know, put off for that “other” day.  And then came the day when I could pick up my fixed computer…..oh, what a wonderful feeling!  And so I can re-connect again with my blogging friends.  Hello again!  I’m back.  And I can see that you all have been busy!

Secondly, I had a chance to go for my walk again after many days of not doing so.  And I tend to take photos of things along the way…..the sky, trees, animals/wildlife, flowers, fields, etc.  So, I had this notion to take some photos from a different angle – from really low – how does the road look from there?  For example, a chipmunk would see the road this way.  A pretty cool view!

Thirdly, I am inspired to think haiku lines again.

Another Day of Wonders!

Hello, Friends in this Enjoyable Blogosphere!

Guess what unforeseen and exciting encounter I had on my walk today….

Give up?

Well, yeah, I DID get to see a few new things along the way.

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Like, for example, my first Woolly Bear Caterpillar of the season – uh huh….a future Pyrrharctia isabella! Yep, the Isabella Tiger Moth. Who knew that a woolly bear turns into a tiger?? Haha!

And yes, another monarch flitted in front of me…..geez! Still not fast enough to get a pic! Beautiful to watch even so.

Then there was a bird flying above…..just soaring on the wind currents, and I thought at first it might be a hawk or along those lines. I watched until it disappeared further into the sky. And then I walked along some more and saw about 4-5 of them all flying about one of the farms I go past. Then I thought….crows? But they looked more brownish in colour…..??  (A friend suggested to me later that it looked like a turkey vulture.)

One of the tall maples that I always admire on my walk had a little secret to show me. All surrounded by its still lush green leaves was a tiny “pocket” of already-turned reddish leaves – like its own little heart of autumn or its own little red “heart” of leaves.  Isn’t that cool?

HOWEVER, the absolute highlight for me was meeting up with someone new! You just never know what a new day will bring! Soooo exciting! She passed me the first time, as I was walking towards the turnaround point, and we briefly said “hi” and “what a beautiful day!” And my iPhone camera was being slow, so I only got a photo of her backside. Darn, I thought at first. Oh well, but at least I got something to remember the unusual contraption she was riding. Well, but wasn’t the Universe having some fun with me, when I later on spied the same cyclist coming towards me on my return leg of the route!! Haha! Second chance here; not wasting it! Got my iPhone ready for some more pics. And then we ended up having an initial brief chat…..and then she pulled over for a lengthier one! I was some tickled!! Oooooeeee! What a cool way to meet someone, and we fell into conversation easy peasy, like that, and had some laughs already. Yes, yes, you guessed it. We ultimately exchanged phone numbers and will be getting together for a really long visit! Gotta love life and its wonderful gifts!

P.S. Later on I googled a bit to find some more info on recumbent trikes, because that’s what she was riding. Just the coolest thing!

Milkweed, Asters, and Bees

On my walk today I had a chance to look at unusual shapes and textures, as seen on these milkweed plants.  I love the design of the seed-filled milkweed pods – with their prickly-looking outer shells – in their elongated, elliptical form. And then when I see the milkweed plants without pods (as in the third photo), I wonder why its flowers did not get pollinated.  But then I am glad that a few monarchs did make it this far north to collect some of the milkweed nectar earlier in the summer, and thus help some of the plants to create new seeds.

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In among the wildflowers of the roadsides, it’s a joy to discover the purple asters blooming in large clusters, providing colour in the waning summer landscape.

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So many of these aster blooms are past their yellow-centred phase, and yet…..

There are still those hardy, determined bumble bees who continue to look for those still producing flowers to collect their supply of pollen for their hives in preparation for the approaching winter time.

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It’s fun to watch them as they go about their important business, totally focused and not even perturbed that I am standing nearby.

The Mist Changes the Mood

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Slowly in silence

In motion like a whisper –

The earth-kissing mist.

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Last Friday on my evening walk, I didn’t know when I started out what beautiful views I would encounter, because it wasn’t until I reached the high point of the road that I could see signs of the approaching mist.

And I felt all excited at how the well-known views that I gaze upon so often would be magically transformed.  Some of them seem like watercolour paintings.  Some have a hint of spookiness with the addition of tiny plant silhouettes in the foreground.  And extra beauty shines through when the colours of the darkening sky join in with this mysterious dance of the mists.

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Colours and Shadows at Dusk

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The sky says good-bye,

Crickets’ chorus, wolf pack howls;

Tranquil embraces.

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Since early June I have been going on almost daily walks and often at different times in the day….morning, afternoons, and evenings.

I find it fascinating how plants and fields and trees look quite different in all those times.  Colours seem to change in intensity.  Some flowers close themselves up at night into tiny balls, yet during the day the petals are stretched out wide.  A plant with interestingly shaped leaves seems to “pop up” white to the dark green background.  And there are shadows in places now that were at other angles in earlier hours.

It feels like I’m discovering a new world at dusk.  And as every walk offers up something unique that sets it apart from previous ones, tonight I heard some wolf howls in the distance…to the west of where I stopped to listen.  Not the yappier, shorter calls of coyotes that I have heard on other nights, but the distinctive long tones of wolves – perhaps 3 or 4 with a few pup sounds also discernible.

Nature gifts me with such beautiful moments, and I am grateful.