I have had the complete luxury of walking in the woods two weekends in a row. The first, on Christmas day, was with my husband. The second, on New Year's Eve day with two of my dearest friends.
I had visited the Oak tree I so love a few days before Christmas. As I drove back home, another Oak called out to me on the farther end of these woods. I had seen it before, a huge canopy reaching out to the sky, just over a knoll. I had always wanted to stop and walk down to it. Today I did. As I walked toward it, my eyes scanned forward, seeing a beckoning knoll deeper in the woods. The thought hopped in to my head that I could walk from this Oak tree to "my" Oak tree. It was only a mile as the road drove, I figured we could walk through and get home in time to get the turkey in the oven for dinner.
Beginning late morning, we began to trek through. Walking off a mown path, we entered the woods. I was quickly glad that we were both armed with Felco #2s as the multiflora rose was very thick in places. Around us, the quiet of the woods, even our foot steps softened by the damp fallen leaves. Huge beech trees, smaller oaks, rotting tree trunks so obviously visited by woodpeckers. We came upon a stream, the light noise completely delightful. Following the meandering water, I got us completely off course. ("All who wander are not lost"!!) At one spot, we were seemingly trapped in a huge thicket of Mean Multiflora. We both clipped and trimmed, hacked and cussed to move forward. It was at that point that I saw a feather, resting at eye level atop the mess of thorny branches. I gingerly reached forward and score! It was mine. I tucked it under my hat and we continued on. We ran across another huge Oak at the edge of a field. Of course, it was hugged. Looking at his watch, it was discovered we had already been "in" for 3 hours! Where had time gone? The full walk would have to wait for another day. We were about 1/4 of the way! We crossed the field to the road and walked the rest of the way unimpeded. It circled through my mind how time was different in the woods. Since it was Christmas, I left peanuts for the critters to find, and chocolate chips for the fairies to discover. :) Perhaps it was they who allowed us the time capsule from the fast paced world.
Oh and the feather? What a treasure! After hours with google, I found it was the breast feather of a Great Horned Owl. Oh yeh, I am still geeking out about that! :)
The next blog will tell the tale of the second walk, at Boyd Big Tree Preserve, just above Harrisburg.
Get out! Leave your computer, your cell phone, your ipad or whatever other device you have become a slave to. There are no mosquitos to bite you! Bundle up and get in touch with your wild. Go find a woods, and walk.
~inner stirrings~ Erica