Posts Tagged ‘walking’

We’ve made it thought the park and back to the parking lot, saddened that the best part of the morning is over.  Or is it?  As I drive the van toward the main road, I look to the right, to where the water is slow, forming a large pond/small lake.  Behold!  A fisherman!  Pull over, park, and find a rock.  Limber up the clicking finger, focus the telephoto, and we’re off. As Yogi Berra (not Bear) once said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”  And we have a few more photos to take.

Waiting; the personification of patience.  Animalification?

© janet m. webb 2016

Stealthily on the move.  Is that a feather duster in the back?  🙂

© janet m. webb 2016

Streeeetch.  (I’d say “Craning”, but as it’s an egret, that might get confusing.) 🙂

© janet m. webb 2016

I sat for a long while on a warm rock, taking photos and just watching.  When I finally rose to leave, you guessed it.  Plop.  Another frog missed.  But I did get a shot of one recently and that will likely be coming up Tuesday.

Have a marvelous weekend and thanks for walking with me.

I walk for exercise three mornings a week, carrying my iPhone because photo ops happen all the time at the park.  I keep track of my walks on Map My Walk and was relieved to discover the “Pause workout” button, enabling me to stop for photos without having my pace impacted.  But every so often, I take a photo walk, carrying my Nikon with telephoto lens as well as my iPhone.  I don’t map those walks, as a distance that takes about 30 min. on an exercise day may take as long as an hour and a half on a photography day!

Last week, my photo walk day turned out to be cloudy with the threat of rain.  I packed a plastic bag in my fanny pack to cover  my camera if necessary.  I wasn’t sure if I should expect much in the way of animal life, but perhaps because it still seemed like night or because there were hardly any other people, it was an excellent day, as you’ll see from the following photos.  This is true soul food.

Heron copyright janet m. webb 2015 (more…)

Beneath Your Feet” is the theme for the Weekly Photo Challenge to start off the month of August.  I do lots of walking, in the park or elsewhere in nature for preference, but at my part time job as a tea-rista, I spend almost 9 hours a day, two days week, on my feet.  Consequently, I’m quite aware of what’s beneath my feet.

Go outside. Don’t tell anyone and don’t bring your phone. Start walking and keep walking until you no longer know the road like the palm of your hand, because we walk the same roads day in and day out, to the bus and back home and we cease to see. We walk in our sleep and teach our muscles to work without thinking and I dare you to walk where you have not yet walked and I dare you to notice. Don’t try to get anything out of it, because you won’t. Don’t try to make use of it, because you can’t. And that’s the point. Just walk, see, sit down if you like. And be. Just be, whatever you are with whatever you have, and realise that that is enough to be happy.
There’s a whole world out there, right outside your window. You’d be a fool to miss it.
  ~Charlotte Eriksson

This first shot is a photo of a interruption by nature of the pavement beneath my feet as I walk around the small lake near our house.  By turning the phone upside down while getting as low as possible, I got a much more interesting angle than simply from above.

copyright janet m. webb 2015

“Many people nowadays live in a series of interiors…disconnected from each other. On foot everything stays connected, for while walking one occupies the spaces between those interiors in the same way one occupies those interiors. One lives in the whole world rather than in interiors built up against it.”
~Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust:  A History of Walking

Walking in sand is good exercise; sometimes very difficult exercise, especially if that sand is loose.  The sand on this California beach was quite firm, but someone had managed to leave a partial print there that we discovered while enjoying the ocean.

IMG_5062 copyright janet. m webb 2015

“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”
~John Muir, John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir

Such a joy to get back into the park last week!  Off-pathing (yes, I made that up) was a quite wet and a bit muddy and, as you can see, there was some detritus on the regular path, but I reveled in the opportunity to once again spend time in nature…as well as to take more pictures .It’s an interesting time of year, as most of what surrounds me is still brown and dead, some determined leaves still gripping their trees or bushes as well as stunning dried plants.

But there is some green, both grass and ground cover, and a few small flowers in the ground cover.  Spring is in the air and, bit by bit, on the ground, in the air, and on the plants. No matter the time of year, take the opportunity to get out and see what’s nearby. It will refresh you and your soul immeasurably.  With the nice weather, at least for those of us in the northern hemisphere, it will be a walk in the park.

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For more Which Way photos, click here, a live link once Cee’s post is up and I link to it.  You’ll find plenty of lovely photos to take you whichever way you want to go.

Winter walking

Posted: November 13, 2014 in Nature, Poetry
Tags: , , , ,

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The Wabash Trace Nature Trail, running through southwest Iowa from Council Bluffs to Blanchard near the border with Missouri, is 63-mile route converted from a railroad right-of-way.  Although the trail is new to me, I’ve been familiar with the song by Johnny Cash since my father used to sing it around the house, evoking the glamor of train travel in the days before Amtrak.

 “The trail’s roots go back to the Wabash Railroad, which was one of the most important connections between the farmlands, factories and people of the American heartland and points east in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Indeed, the railroad is perhaps best known for the “Wabash Cannonball,” a passenger train that connected St. Louis to Detroit and was enshrined in a popular song from the early 1900s.”
TrailLink

My experience with the trail has been much more plebian and certainly slower.  While visiting our older daughter in Shenandoah, Iowa, one of the towns through which the Trace runs, I went there for my morning walk.  The wind was as chilly as that at home, although what surrounds the Trace is very different from that of my park in a Chicago suburb!  Here there was a cemetery, fields (both harvested and with corn still waiting on the stalk), windmills of the kind on my grandparents’ farm, not the enormous, sleek high-risers of today, and other rural surroundings.  My walk, however, was as calming to the soul and as good for the body, which is, after all, why I walk.

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“A lake is a landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is Earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.”
Thoreau

We’re on the cusp of spring. As lights bloom from windows darkened by night, spring has danced away again. The fickle wind tonight sides with winter, madly blowing back the cold. It’s a rearguard battle. For a time, winter will lie heavily on the land. But spring will trip lightly back again…and again…and again… until winter has been routed once more. The welling joy brought by warmer weather is now tamped down, yet it sneaks out gloriously at random moments. The sun teases, promising what it can’t or won’t yet deliver, yet the promise is one that will soon come true. And so I wait, mostly patiently.

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Today I take a walk around the small lake that lies near our housing development. Although it’s really a run-off lake, the wonderful park system in our Chicago suburb has made it a lovely place. Now it too waits patiently for spring, surrounded by dead and battened-down grass punctuated by brittle brown stalks of last year’s milkweed topped by mostly empty pods. Almost everything looks as though it would snap off easily. Trash is enmeshed everywhere, filling me with rage at those who thoughtlessly throw out what could so easily be thrown away.

Geese sit on the ice, kept warm by fat and feathers, I suppose.  Others waddle away, bottoms twitching pertly, as I walk by. Later when the goslings arrive, I may have to detour at times to avoid hissing, belligerent parents, but for now they’re content to move. I’ve learned to hiss right back, which works most of the time.  The ice at the edge of the pond is thin now with water visible in places. Not far out, though, it’s still winter white and firm-looking, though I wouldn’t test it with my weight. It holds the geese without a problem.

In the mud I see a large dog print, large enough to be a Hound-of-the-Baskervilles puppy. On the other side of the lake is an empty deck where often a big, fluffy-haired white dog barks out of boredom at people passing by. He’ll probably be sad to see winter leave, his fur a distinct disadvantage in summer’s heat. Still, that’s far away from today.  We haven’t even reached spring warmth yet.

I get only a short distance before my iPod stops working. I forgot to charge it after my last walk and now I leave the earbuds in to keep the wind out of my ears. My mind wanders, thinking about writing this post, then dancing on to other random thoughts. I have the path to myself, sans geese, and it is, as our older daughter once said when she was little, “a beautiful day.”

 

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