Tuesday, November 22, 2016
A Quiet Walk in the Woods
I never really appreciated the family farm in Michigan that I grew up on. I call it a farm, but it was really just and 80 acre back yard. Very little of it was devoted to agriculture, my grandfather had 50 or 60 colonies of bees in the edge of the trees along the small middle field, the big fields between the old farm house and the small house my parents added to the farm was sometimes rented or sharecropped with local farmers - usually for corn or wheat. The middle field was occasionally cut for hay, looking back I don't know why it didn't grow in with trees. The far back field, by the old dump - I seldom if ever saw. Most of the land, at least 40 of the 80 acres was covered in trees. And like the forbidden forest in the Wizard of Oz, I stayed away and stayed out of the trees for the most part. There was an irrational fear of poison ivy - looking back that was just as easy to tangle with around the fringes of the yard. There was a little wildlife, but really nothing that was harmful. And yet I stayed out of the woods. What a shame.
Later in life I learned the joys of a nice quiet walk in the woods. I prefer a reasonably well maintained trail. I have regained the ability to walk on rough surfaces, though steep grades are a bigger challenge than before.
The picture above was taken recently in Washington's Woods, at the Mt Vernon Estate. It is the route less traveled. Take the main trail to the lower far, veer right at the cattle pen, go around behind that pen and take the bridge across the ravine, the trail is a little steep in places, and there are steps on the far end near the threshing barn, but it is a nice walk, on a quiet day. Time to reflect on life in the woods.