Fall Is The Time For Hiking.

Good morning and welcome to the Monday edition of my ‘musings’ and yes I do know it’s not Monday but it is still the Monday edition even if it’s Tuesday since the first edition of the week is always the Monday edition which always comes out on Monday or Tuesday just like the Friday edition always comes out on Friday so it’s easy to know when to expect the next edition so always remember that the Monday edition always comes out on Monday.  Or Tuesday.  Like today.  Hmm, I was going to do one of my one sentence ‘musings’ but considering the topic that might be hard.  So I settled for a fairly long opening sentence.  It is another cool and cloudy fall day.

female purple finch
A female purple finch enjoying her lunch.

Mostly that is what we have had this month.  Temps are way below normal for September.  That’s not a good sign.  Two mornings now my critter bath has been frozen solid.  A critter bath is like a bird bath but is available to all critters.  Usually fall is nicer.  A good time for hiking.  Cool, cloudy and rainy is not my idea of ideal hiking weather.  A warm summer rain is okay.  But not a cold fall rain.  Got a great idea for a hike, I said to Dad one October day.  Right, Dad replied.  It’s an old townsite and we can practically drive to the spot, I continued.  I’ve heard that before, said Dad.  Plus it’s a new area that we haven’t searched for insulators, I added.  That got Dad’s attention.  Let’s see the map, said Dad.  Right here, I pointed, we can drive in on this old road along here.  Hmm, might be possible, provided that road is still usable, Dad added.  No problem, said I.  The next morning the sun was shining brightly, not a cloud in sight.  It was a bit frosty but was supposed to warm up.  We got everything we needed and off we went.  Sure enough, the road was still there and though a bit rough in places, we could still drive it quite nicely.  A bit bouncy, I said.  Dad just sort of mumbled something.  Suddenly the road ended.  Now what?, asked Dad.  We park here and just walk a bit past those trees, I said.  Dad looked.  I don’t think he believed me. But it was a nice walk through tall pines over fairly flat rocky terrain.  There was a few ups and downs.  Should be almost there, I said cheerfully.  I hope so, said Dad, we’ve been walking for hour now.  But it was beautiful.  Not even a tiny breath of air moving. There had been several flocks of geese flying high overhead.  A beautiful pileated woodpecker was pounding away on a large pine, looking for his breakfast.  There were many sparrows feeding all along our little hike.  Blue jays were squawking high in a birch over us as we walked past.

A more recent pic of a blue jay, but it fits.

The sun shone brilliantly through the trees illuminating the various yellows, golds and reds of bushes providing wonderful splashes of color among the dark green of the pines.  Then we heard the sound of a train in the distance.  Almost there, I called out to Dad who had fallen back a bit.  I decided to wait for him to catch up. Over this way, I pointed, and off I went through some undergrowth.  Dad followed.  Suddenly Dad yelled.  He claimed I let go of a branch which hit him in the face, knocking his hat and glasses off.  You shouldn’t follow so close, I reminded him.  BONEHEAD!, he said.  Well, at least he’s enjoying himself.  I’ll help you look for your glasses, I said.  NO!, said Dad.  Odd.  He bent over to pick up his glasses.  I went over to pick up his hat.  AAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!  I turned around.  Dad was lying on the ground.  Getting tired?, I asked.  He said I pushed him when I went to retrieve his hat.  I think he tripped and didn’t want to admit it.  Remember, he was very accident prone.  There it is, I pointed.  There is what?, asked Dad, I don’t see anything.  Down there, I said.  About 100 feet down this rock hill was the train we heard.  We just need to go down this hill and across that little creek and we’re almost there, said I.  Almost?, questioned Dad.  Well, we have to walk down the tracks a bit to the townsite, I replied.  Dad just looked down this hill.  Rather steep, he said.  We should be able to do it okay, I said.  It’ll be worse coming back up, Dad added.  Minor detail, I said.  Muffin is sleeping again.  Good thing to do on these cloudy, rainy days.  Even though it’s not raining right now.  But it will soon.  Sigh.  This hike will continue.  I won’t forget.  Honest.  Hope you can get out and enjoy some of your week.  That white season is coming fast.  At least here.  Sigh.  Have a great morning and God bless!

Steve and Muffin.

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