A beautiful and sunny day today. I recieved great news. I got the results of the “Stress Test” I had done at Southlake Hospital. I was so glad to hear everything looked normal, my heart is pumping as it should. I had a bit of a scare that took me to the ER a couple of weeks ago but it appears all is good and I can continue with my training for the WWWP5K April 10 and the Half Marathon Walk on May 1st.
Today I felt like a hike in the woods, not so much to train for distance, but to breathe the fresh air and enjoy the day. I wanted to celebrate good health. Not far from here is the Arnold C. Matthews Nature Preserve. It is 135 acres donated by a number of families. There are walking trails through the woods to enjoy. I grabbed my camera and Sidney, the german shepard, and jumped into the van. Sidney loves to run free. She has boundless energy and I swear she runs with a big smile on her face.
Sidney loves the freedom
I was surprised to find that the paths were icy. The warmth of the sun has not yet penetrated the forest. I am glad that I wore an older pair of shoes. Try as I might to tread lightly, I did end up with a soaker. In some of the open areas, the ice thinly veiled the deep muddy patches beneath. I was enjoying the promise of spring then suddenly sank to my ankles. The more I tried to get onto firmer ground, the softer the earth became. What a sight. With each step, the sound of my foot slurping the mud soaked path made me cringe. My old shoes will never be the same.
- Melting ice turns to thick mud on the trail
Ignoring my now wet right foot, I carried on. I could taste spring in the air. I love the earthy smell of the woods. The deer have been on this trail recently. I could see thier tracks and the scat they left behind. Taking the dog usually guarantees we will not see wildlife. It is early April and the crocuses are in bloom at home, yet here in the woods, there is little evidence of spring to be found. Everything is very brown. Spring seems a long time coming this year.
The woods are alive with birdsong. That gives me hope. I closed my eyes and listened for a while. I find joy in the songs the birds sing. The sounds transport me to another place. I breathed a little deeper. I am feeling that communion with nature, that wonderful “all’s right with the world” feeling. Suddenly, the dog brings me back to reality, she has found something. I catch up to her to investigate. Just as I suspected, a dead animal, or what is left of one. Sidney grabs the jawbone and takes off down the path. I am glad she is an obedient girl. I would not be able to catch her, especially slipping and sliding on the icy path. She dropped the bone and we carried on. A few minutes later, she has the bone again. So much for obedience, it is a momentary thing. After the third try, I was able to distract her by throwing a stick and had to pick up the bone and toss it into the woods. Success, I was able to outsmart her and we continued on our way, wiping my hands on my jeans.
- The trees are still naked
- The small pond is still partially frozen
I was surprised to find that the small pond was still partially frozen.
- Old Bullrushes in the Sun
There is an abundance of last years bullrushes around the pond. The sun shining through the fluff brings a little beauty to the broken and brown plants. Every year I am amazed that the new growth manages to penetrate the thickness of the old leaves. The Red-Winged Blackbirds are the only ones who treasure the old stems. They build thier nests over the water, suspended between the old stalks, hidden from view by the mixture of old and new growth.
This is a great nature preserve. I am so thankful to the families that have donated the land and opened it up as walking trails. It is a valuable habitat for wildlife in this area where land is being swallowed up for subdivisions. It has been developed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority.
Out of the Forest and onto the Meadow.