Happy Trails to Us – Part 1

January 4 – Had a good warm bath after finding out that even 25 degrees is pretty cold when I’m used to temps in the 40’s or higher for a long time now. In fact, though most of the country has had various kinds of snowy days, we have had very, very little so far. (Time for me to “knock on wood” as I don’t begrudge the rest of the folks having winter! I can just plain do without it!) Now about eighty years ago, I was sledding just about every winter day, zooming down the snowy hills, and making a quick turn while dragging my feet to slow down before I slid right off into the creek.


[ Cat waiting for us to walk ]

So I’m leaving the idea of snow for now and talking of one of our recent walks on the trails in the woods. After I had those problems with my teeth, I just didn’t feel up to walking and had no desire to do so. A couple weeks later, we decided to see what we could find of interest on the paths. Since Cat can’t stand it to stay inside when we are out walking, she, as usual, gave her famous plaintive begging call, “Please let me go with you! I don’t care about the scenery as I can view that whenever I go out. I just want to tag along with you two friends. I promise I will keep up with you too, because, after all, you have only two legs, but I have four!”

OK, off went the trio to enjoy being out instead of in for a change. I would look back now and then to make sure Cat was still able to keep up. She even had enough energy and determination to leave the path for a bit to do some investigating in the woods. Must have been a lot of different smells as she stopped now and again to investigate before she took off at full speed to stay with us.


[ Osage Oranges ]

So many osage orange trees along the path and down by the creek. I have always been fascinated by their big green hard covered fruits since we moved here. Most people in the state call them “hedge apples”, as so many of the dividing lines between properties are made from trees that grew up along those property lines and at first there were no manufactured fences, just a line of huge osage orange trees. As we walked, we picked up the larger osages and tossed them off to the side. Way back when, maybe eight years ago, I would never have thought of doing that!


[ Our forest path ]

All along the trail we found that a number of trees of various kinds had been blown over, with their trunks still standing while the smaller branches, still covered with leaves had blown over the paths.

We originally owned thirteen acres of trees here, so I was able to keep the place one I could be proud of. Then about five years ago, we bought another section of woods when the owner was planning to sell the five acres that separated our land from hers. She wanted us to have first chance because she knew how much we would enjoy taking good care of that section as well. Besides a creek ran right down along the boundary, and I have always enjoyed creeks and rivers. So with those added acres and more land to mow, along with the fact that we had a bigger garden by then, we just had to let some of the woods go back to nature. We did keep the paths mowed and added a few connecting paths along the way.


[ The big oak ]

Whenever we “walk the woods,” it is a joy to see a huge oak tree right along the way. If I am close enough to take a picture, I have to tilt my head back a long way. If I just walk towards it walking normally along the way, I can see very little of it. One of the neighbors told us that the oak was on some kind of list of good or beautiful trees in the state. I hate to think that one day it might be gone!

Checking out the tree and picking up the fallen branches of others, we gave Cat a chance to catch up as she had been checking out a number of areas. I never could figure out why she didn’t show any desire to stop and go back home for a rest, a drink of water, or a warm blanket.


[ Burning pile in the making ]

We walked past two large “burning piles,” such big ones, as we have carried fallen limbs and dragged others to the area so we can burn up the mess when the rains come for long enough to dampen things a bit. Thinking of what has been happening in California with thousands of acres burned, we are content to have a spot filled with fallen branches and those Dale cut when he trimmed various trees.

As we continued on, we could see how much larger the creek is than when we first moved here. In the beginning the creek was just a narrow stream, but not any longer. I used to climb down from the path above to that stream below, but no longer can I do that either! I would slide down all the way to the bottom before I could stop.

More on this subject later… – CHRIS


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1 Response to Happy Trails to Us – Part 1

  1. Richard Christoph says:

    Your verbal description brought back fond memories of the leisurely tour of your 18 acres that you and Uncle Dale gave to sister Linda and me back in April of ’16, on a mild Missouri spring day, with verdant greenery and crystal blue sky. Thanks for rekindling a most enjoyable memory.


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