I walk on our peaceful road with my dogs as many times a week as I have time for. Sometimes I do the long walk, sometimes the short. Barely do I ever see a human or an automobile. Even though I am often alone in my thoughts, I am always fascinated with what things I do find.
Sometimes I bring my camera. When I do, it certainly slows my progress because I tend to pay more attention to every little thing when I have it in my hands. Not a bad thing – I’ve just got to have the time to slow down which these days isn’t available. It’s all I can do today, to get to what I have to do, without adding unnecessary things – even though I like to do them.
Last week, when I wasn't quite as frantic, I took a walk without my camera. I was barely 100 yards from the house when I heard a sound I didn't recognize. I thought it was some kind of woodpecker. Upon arriving at the general area of the sound, I looked up and saw some tiny raccoons clinging to a large old maple. I ran back to the house to get my camera, ran back to the tree. By that time, they were almost back in their little hole. Here they are.
Those little guys made my day. I walked further up the road with my mind racing about the little guys. Where was their mom? Were they alone? Did that giant coyote I saw the week before do her in? Were they alone and fending for themselves?
I kept walking up, up, up. I came to the swinging gate. The gate to nowhere. I pass this gate a lot. Sometimes it is creaking. Sometimes it is singing. Sometimes it is gently moving with the breeze. Sometimes it is perfectly still. I doubt the gate has been used in a long time. It's up off the road on a steep slope probably on a patch of earth where the road used to go - before the road was friendly for cows, not cars. Now it swings in the air without a care in the world keeping noone in or out - entertaining me and whoever else is fascinated by this kind of mystery who happens to walk by.
The dogs and I turn around at the top of the hill, me deciding I had better get back to my project at hand - that I have wasted enough time communing with nature. On the way down the hill, just past the swinging gate, I stop at a plant I have been looking at since it sprouted. I thought it was a trillium that hadn't bloomed. I decided to investigate.
This is what I found - a beautiful jack in the pulpit with three incredible blossoms. I am sure I have seen these before in my life - I just can't remember when.
The beautiful blossoms were a lovely dark maroon and cream stripe. The undulating path of the stripes is indescribly gentle and beautiful.
I went home, excited with what I had seen. Glad to have taken a break that day.