Good afternoon on this mostly sunny, except for the cloudy afternoon which has now given way to sunny skies once again, day in the last half of October and really quite a nice day compared to what we have been experiencing although yesterday was out nicest day in about a month with a temp of 59F which for us is beautiful for this time of year and, okay, I wasn’t planning on a long opening sentence today. Sigh. One of those days. But yesterday was very nice. And sunny.
Today had a rather cool wind. So it wasn’t quite so nice today. But it was still in the 40s, so not bad. Our snow has melted. Really wasn’t sure it would. But it did finish our beautiful fall colors before they really got fully colored. Sigh. Fall is just too short some years. And, oh wait, I’m supposed to finish our fall hiking series. Wasn’t really planning 5 posts on this. Sigh. It’s been one of those days. And, wait, there I go again. Starting to get off track. Anyway, Dad and I started off up that hill. It really was a somewhat large hill. And not that easy getting up. Especially with all that rain. That hill was all rock. Granite actually. With some trees. And a lot of moss. Which was now wet. Wet moss is very slippery. I looked over to my right and pointed to Dad. There was that pileated woodpecker again about 20 feet away from us, pounding away at the base of an old birch. He wasn’t paying attention to us at all. They are a beautiful bird, about the size of a crow, large bright red crest and this one had red ‘whiskers’ showing him to be a male. Just a little farther we were met by 3 gray jays looking for some food. They are one of the tamest wild birds in the north woods. I just had to stop and give them some of my leftover sandwich. One landed on my hand to get his meal, the other two were not quite so brave but did come close. I think Dad was getting a little impatient. Get going, he said, can’t you see it’s raining? We are already soaked, I said, can’t possibly get any wetter. Off we went. Everything was going good until my foot hit some loose moss. At least it was loose after I stepped on it. I slipped. And slid down. Poor Dad. He tried to get out of the way. And did jump off to the side. But I also tried to miss Dad so moved to the same side as I was sliding. Whump! Oooo! Seems my foot collided with Dad’s stomach. He sat down. Tired?, I asked. Dad just looked. After he relaxed for a bit we continued our climb. I’ll go first, said Dad. That’s odd I thought. He always wanted me to go first. Oh well. About 2 thirds of the way Dad suddenly stops. I didn’t notice that. I bumped into him just slightly. He sat down again. Tired?, I asked. Dad just looked. It’s okay, we can stop for a while, I continued. Dad said shhh. Why?, I asked. Dad pointed up the hill. There was a black bear just starting to come down, heading our way. I moved a bit to get a better look. Stepped on a loose rock. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!, yelled Dad. The bear stopped, then took off running. That got him running, I said. BONEHEAD!, said Dad. Strange that he would be enjoying this. You stepped on my ankle, he said. Oh, I said, I thought it was a loose rock. Someone has a loose rock, said Dad. Not sure what he meant by that. There was several chickadees in the pines above us. And a little red-breasted nuthatch walking upside down on one of the branches. They always like being upside down. Cute little birds.
Chickadees are one of my favorite birds. Such cheerful little critters. Anyway, we kept on going. Finally we made it to the top. No sign of the bear. Which was nice. The rain stopped. We still had some thick undergrowth to walk through. Dad said for me to go first. Odd. He was a long way behind me so I stopped to let him catch up. He was probably tired by now. Once he was close I continued. Whack! AAAAA!!! Seems Dad lost his hat. And glasses. He is always dropping his glasses. Let me help, I said. Stay back, said Dad. He claimed I hit him with a branch. That’s why he stayed so far behind. Dad was just accident prone and didn’t like to admit it. Back at the car Dad was definitely tired. The sun was shining again. Hardly a cloud in sight. Hey, we should go back, I said. BONEHEAD! That was all Dad said. Nice to know he enjoyed the trip. We did go back another time. But not that year. Oh well. I hope you all enjoy your weekend and God bless!
Steve and Muffin.