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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Strolls

I love to take a stroll on a Sunday. If I lived in the city I'd probably head for a park, or an old neighborhood, but since I live out in the wild woods ... that's where I take my walks. And on Sundays in the fall I can go out to White Oak Swamp.  We rent that bit of forest to a hunter and during the season we stay out of the woods except for Sundays. In exchange for the use of our land we get venison, amazing summer sausage and of course, the rent - but rest assured, both parties think they have a really good bargain.

This pretty Sunday dawned with sparkling sunshine - bright enough to get all my laundry on the line in time to dry - even if the breeze has a hint of ice in it today. Sometimes we walk over to White Oak Swamp but with the little pup we don't. She'll get enough miles in once we get there, so we drive over and park at the edge and head south. That blur behind BD's legs is One Happy Callie. 

The little puzzled face thing is One Whiny Puppy.  "Pick Me UP" she's begging - but goodness - she must weigh over 20 lbs now. "No, Juno. You have to walk"
There really isn't anything more tempting than a path through the forest. Here along the east edge the cover is sparse and lots of light shines in. Certainly enough for a little puppy to find her way. 
This magical place is full of cypress trees (I know I've told you all this dozens of times already - but just in case you forgot...)  They're so pretty right now - still mostly green but with the bronzing beginning close to the limbs and branches. They're getting tall too - and knees are popping up in all sorts of places. 
A dog can disappear in a forest like this. 
I'm not sure if you can see this - it didn't photograph the way it looked in real life - but the  moment I saw this I thought "Green Lace!" It's really a sapling ... probably an oak ... that has been eaten away till there is just a lacy remnant to mark it's existence. 

Here is another interesting bit of flora - a holly tree sprouting out of an old moss covered stump. The woods are always so full of magical things. Sometimes I can capture them - sometimes I can only allude to them with my digital images.

Of course - no walk is much fun without lots of stopping and puppy fluffing. 
Aren't I cute, Mama?

No matter how far we walk in WOS there is always something  beautiful to see - breathtaking to experience - so spiritual I can almost be the forest not just be in the forest. How's this for a vaulted ceiling?
Or this for an October blossom?

Or this?

And this? What do you think? A ladder up to heaven? 

And what sylvan sprite lives here? A gnome? Elves? Fairies? 
Our walk took us down the east rim, along the south end, up the west woods, with a little weaving in and out among the crossing paths that take you deep into the woods. These shots were taken on the Africa Path. BD has named all of the paths. 

 Sometimes when I'm in this forest I can open up and feel it pour its strength into my body. I think of this particular bit of the farm as The Healing Woods. I remember coming here once so long ago - before there were these wide, easy to stroll paths. I was so sad about something I couldn't change but once I got deep into the woods, whatever was hurting me just floated away - sucked out of me by the spirit of the woods. I still feel that way even when I have nothing to be sad about. However I feel - a walk in White Oak Swamp will make me feel better.  I think it makes Juno feel better too.

 If you make enough right turns, though, you'll eventually get back to the car - or at least - you'll get back up to the tar road. Little dogs will stop and look around

Get one more tussle 
Share a bone or two 

And then it's time to head for home - with a stop for a long cool drink of water at Jacob's Gut. Would you believe that's a 12 week old puppy? Me neither. Now ... What's for lunch?

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