Monday, April 11, 2011

Change of Plans

A few weeks ago I said I wanted to start running outside on my property.  It's a great concept, but it's just not working out for me.  I just don't run, it turns into a hike almost every time.  Which isn't bad, I guess, but I was planning on running, not hiking. 

Take tonight, for instance.  I started on the standard run, which goes around in a big loop and ends with a steep hill.  I decided to go in a counterclockwise direction to mix it up a bit, mostly to make that hill be downhill in the beginning instead of uphill in the end of the run.  I went past the trash dump area, then stopped when I passed a large piece of metal.  I inspected it and made a mental note to bring it to Randy's attention to take to the metal recycler.  I look up and see a red fox about 15 feet away from me.  He's looking at me, and he's moving his mouth, licking his chops or something odd.  I think to myself, oh, how cute, a fox.  Then in the background I realize I can hear the guineas up by the house, and the thought in my mind turns to "guinea-killer".  No longer is he a cute and cuddly little friend.  I look around to see if maybe he's licking his mouth because he just ate dinner, but I don't see any guinea dinner.  I walk closer to him, and closer still, until I'm like 5 feet away.  He's not really afraid, but finally he jogs a few feet, and I follow.  He stops and looks at me, daring me to follow, and I do.  The fox bolts, and I chase him, I don't know why. Within seconds he's lost me.

I find myself on a small deer path, which leads me to behind an old empty house on the property.  I notice behind the house is a field in which I have never been before, so I walk into the field and check it out.  Beautiful.  I notice a heavily-used deer path leading out of the field, and I walk on it, following it to a large stream.  I've never been to this exact area before and I inspect everything. I see a large tree that fell over that was once a pilated woodpecker's nest.  I climb down close to the stream water and taste it.  It's cold.  I look at all the deer hoof marks in the mud around me.  They took a drink, too.  I think about going back the way I came, but a path calls me, a path on which I have never walked.  Another deer path.

I follow this new path through the deep woods.  Way up ahead I see sunlight, so I assume there's a field or something, and I decide to go there.  I find another path crossing my path, making a fork in the road.  Hmmm, which way...  I go left because I hear footsteps in the leaves to the left, although the clearing was ahead to the right.  I am just too curious about the footsteps.  After walking quietly down the path for a while, I find myself following a flock of wild turkeys. They don't run, but they aren't really happy that I'm there, and they walk away.  The tom is large and impressive.  His females follow him. I let them go on without me.  Turkeys are friends.

I climb through thick branches in the woods, wondering how many ticks I have on me, and eventually I find another deer path. I love paths, thank you to the deer for making paths.  No thank you to the deer for leaving their ticks behind, though.  I decide maybe I should jog a bit, as I was supposed to be running, after all. I jog a while, wondering where I am.  I wish I brought a cell phone.  It's getting late, the sun is setting by now. I continue jogging and come to a huge field.  It's the ravine area.  I know where I am, and I know it's not too close to the house.  I've gotten way off track.  I stand in the field in a culvert surrounded by hills, thinking I'm going to have to climb my way out of here to get home.  As I climb up a hill I startle up a herd of deer, they run into the trees noisily, irritated at me for interrupting them.  They were laying down in the culvert.  Sorry, guys.

Up and down the hills I climb.  At least there's no trees here, but there's lots of high grasses which I have to wade through.  In the distance, after I climb one last hill, I can see the main road.  I go towards it, and I pass another path.  The path calls me, but I ignore it.  It's late, it'll wait till another day.  I turn left when I get to my well, cut up through the woods to the house, climbing up more hills.  Randy just happens to be standing at the front door wondering where I am as I break out of the woods.   It's almost 8pm.  Time flies in the woods.

And then I go back to my normal life.  So much for all the chores that were on the schedule for the evening. 


Farm Girl said...

Wow I like that you just had such an amazing adventure. Really you have never been to some of the places on your property? I know it is huge. I would never get any jogging done either I would want to take every single deer trail. I hope you don't get any deer ticks on you either. I hate ticks.
I can't wait to go along on your next adventure. Oh yeah, I used to think foxes were friends too. It is so sad because I love to watch them float away through the woods.

CaliforniaGrammy said...

You are gutzy! No compass...GPS...I'd be afraid I'd get lost! But thanks for the adventure.

Terry said...

I love your wildlife!

Country Girl said...

You did get a lot of exercise, even though it's not what you planned. So don't be sorry about that! You really do need a camera with you though! I loved the adventure! How many ticks did you find?~~ Still think you need some peacocks in your collection there!

Genny said...

I LOVED your hike. Who cares about running anyway when you can explore like that? I HATE ticks. They creep me out, really creep me out. Why is that?

Anonymous said...

Спасибо за статью! Надеюсь, автор не против, если я использую это для своей курсовой.

Отличный сайт! Все хорошо сделано.

Toni aka irishlas said...

Yup, that would be me - getting distracted and curious..

It's nice you have the property to do this.

Razzberry Corner said...

Farm Girl - Yes, I really haven't been everywhere on the property, but I'm sure Randy has. He's always outside. About foxes - it's too bad they kill chickens and guineas, because they're kinda cute. They look like little wild dogs.

CAGrammy - I'm always afraid I'm lost in the woods, I think that's what makes it so thrilling!

Terry - Me, too! They were here before me.

Barb - I had 2 ticks on me after the hike. I took a shower as soon as I got inside. I want more guineas before we get peacocks!

Genny - ticks really, really creep me out, too. They suck your blood, and they are so tiny. Can dieseases be passed by ticks? Ugh, just thinking about them freaks me out!

Toni - I am so curious about everything when I'm out hiking. It's so much fun!


Knatolee said...

No way could I focus on running with all that interesting stuff going on! No wonder it turns into a hike. :)

Knatolee said...

Lynn, among other things you can get Lyme disease from tick bites, especially down where you are, so watch out for that.

Leigh said...

Running is okay but I think activity is the key. You're getting that aplenty! I'd love to have all that to explore. I admit it alarmed me that the fox let you get that close. You probably already know that "friendliness" in wild animals is a symptom of rabies. Just glad it didn't get one of your guineas!

Razzberry Corner said...

Anon - I translated your comment from Russin to English to read "Thanks for the article! I hope the author does not mind if I use it for your coursework. An excellent site! All well done." Thanks!

nat - yeah, I know about lymes disease. It's scary. I always spray myself with bugspray before going out in the woods and shower right afterwards, before the ticks start biting. But it's creepy having them on me!

Leigh - Yes, I know that friendliness in wild animals is a sign of rabies, that's why I was concerned. But sometimes I realize that animals that have never been hurt by humans really aren't too afraid of humans. That fox will probably be afraid now since I chased him. We have alot of raccoons that aren't afraid of us at all, they eat the cat food we put out for the outside cats. They know we wont hurt them, we only chase them away, and so they aren't afraid. On the other side, though, I have never seen a rabid animal, and think it would be just plain awful to have a rabid animal around. Rabies is one of my worst nightmares, other than a wildfire, which is my ultimate nightmare.


Razzberry Corner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.