Friday, April 13, 2007
In the Woods
I've taken to morning walks in the woods with Saul, my German Shepherd puppy. In an effort to make sure he gets all the exercise he needs I let him off leash in the awesome woods that make up most of my property. Some mornings, like this one, make me appreciate how magnificent it is to be alive and aware. Everything is the most brilliant shade of green, the animals are out going about their business, the flowers are blooming and the sunshine is golden.
There is one spot in the woods that has always been my favorite. It has two huge rocks that are rounded and worn on top. They have indentions in them that almost look like butt prints and the sit rather well, as rocks go. These rocks are surrounded by beech, oak, cedar, pine, lots of dogwood and other trees making it very shady and pleasant. Saul and I troop out there every morning and I turn him loose to romp until his heart is content. There are trails all along our property border that my husband made and we have worn into the ground over the years. Since I got Saul back in December we have walked those trails almost daily. He loves to sniff his border and patrolling just comes naturally to him. When I turn him loose he makes three or four circuits of the property border and then romps around off trail for a little while just exploring and investigating things that smell interesting.
The cats occasionally sneak out close to us in the woods. This morning the most daring kitty we have and the one I am most fond of, Frances, almost got gobbled up by Mr. Snoot. It was close. He (Frances) snuck out in the woods and waited just a little too long before darting away once he was spotted. It is almost like playing Chicken. He also made the strategic mistake of not hiding in close proximity to a tree. The only thing that saved him from being sampled by Mr. Snoot was a big old cedar tree that had very low hanging branches. He managed to buy a second when Saul had to go around instead of under and that was all that saved him. I don't know that Saul would actually eat or kill the cat. He got in the house recently and Saul was millimeters from him and could have eaten him at any time, but only helped him find the door back out. He didn't snap, but he sure was excited.
Frances the cat, and yes his eyes are really that fascinating shade of crystal blue.
There is a wide variety of wildlife on the property. We have a regular herd of deer that come through about every day, turkey's, armadillo's, possum's, racoon's, three or four different kinds of owl's from all the hooting that goes on early in the morning, frogs, lizards, turtles, hawks and squirrels. We also have a pair of pileated wood-peckers.
These birds are huge...almost the size of a small game hen. I remember the first time I saw one here. It must have been 8 years or more ago. I was amazed then as I am now every time I see one. They are awesome. Out in the woods every morning I can hear them hammering away. It blends in with the tweeting chorus of other winged critters very well. It is neat how the hammering of the woodpecker echos through the forest.
Here are some random shots from my garden.