Picture Perfect: Nature Walk 12/16/2011

I’m not a big outdoors person. (That’s because I’m only five feet tall! Bah-DUM-chum.) In fact, as a kid, I preferred the interior to the exterior. I would play outside, but if I really thought about it, then I would have said that staying inside was way better. I’m still that way. Whenever people talk about camping and it being fun, I shudder. Whenever people talk about hiking, I make gagging motions. So, really, it’s pretty damn amazing that I go outside and walk on a regular basis, considering my dislike of the outside world.

Today, I broke through my fear and accidentally ended up on a nature walk. I was, originally, thinking that I had found a faster way to get to Hubbard Park. Ah. No. I found trails, trees, train tracks, a pond, and then the park. It was awesome. You can join me in how awesome this is.

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This is what started it. I happened to see this sign and I had to keep going. I couldn’t not take the trail. That’s like asking a little kid to watch your chocolate for you and not take a bite. It’s just not happening.

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This was the first leg of my journey. I honestly had no damn idea what the hell was going on or where I was going. I was using my childlike sense of wonder as a compass, at this juncture. That’s probably not a good idea when you have no idea what the hell is on the other side.

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But, it was okay because I ended up at the train tracks. Of course, I’ve never been around train tracks as a child, so I really wasn’t sure if this was actually “okay.” I kept looking back and forth to make sure a train wasn’t coming. It’s only now, in the safety of my home, that I recall just how loud a passing train is (since I hear them all the time). And yeah, I bet I would have heard a train coming long before it caught up with me. Oh, well. It was pretty fucking cool, though, to be near the train tracks. It’s like a throwback to an older time, but in this time. I probably can’t explain it and I’m not going to try.

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I didn’t realize that I was coming up to a body of water until I came up to a body of water. Then, I finally figured out that I should check the GPS on my walking program. Oh, hey! That’s Dimmock Pond! I hadn’t heard of it, either.

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I don’t know who lived there, but someone was camping out back there. I mean, there were books and a bag and the makings for a fire… Someone is camping the hell out. I didn’t hang around to meet the occupant; I felt like I was trespassing.

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And then I really was trespassing, or I think I was. I assume that the lots the houses I was walking behind still own the land up to the pond, but there’s no telling. Do you know how long it took me to realize that the houses I was walking behind had once been waterfront property? I was halfway through them all before it clicked. And I was like, I’M WALKING THROUGH HISTORY!! I almost wet myself with excitement. I seriously have to wonder when the residents of those houses stopped using those stairs since most of them were covered up (in the yard) by sheds, bricks, wood stacks, etc.

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We destroy so much all of the time. I felt bad for the birch trees being stripped like that. They looked cold. And I was upset for them. I love birch trees (and weeping willows). I was also pretty pissed when I realized that people had been hanging out back in those woods and cutting down trees. I don’t know if it was the city because of the mass of storms that have destroyed a lot of trees around here or just assholes. I’m going with just assholes until further evidence is offered.

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I really wasn’t joking when I said that there had been a lot of destruction because of the storms that had swept through. There were even more deadfalls that I just didn’t grab shots of. In the second picture, that’s most of a tree in the pond with only a small portion of it still attached at the base. The next picture, with the red bush like thing? That’s actually a mass of baby maple trees covering what is left of the base of the tree in the water. I couldn’t get any closer (AND THERE’S NO ZOOM ON MY PHONE, DAMN IT) without falling into the pond. I’m all for pictures, but not in the face of a possibly soaking.

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That first picture is the path that I was on just ending in the pond. Evidently, at one point, the spit of land that I was on crossed the pond in its entirety. The second picture if where the path winds up on the other side of the pond.

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The first picture in this nestle o’ shots is a kind of joke on myself. I’m constantly talking about how I’m at the crossroads and don’t know which way to go. The second picture is beautiful. I clicked it at the right moment. And the last two were my final choices: do I keep going around the pond and end up where I started or do I go to the park? It was getting dark, so I went to the park.

BUT IT WAS AWESOME. I think the reason it’s so awesome is because the entirety was unexpected. I didn’t think to find a pond or the railroad tracks. I didn’t expect any of that and that, I think, is why I was so happy with that walk. Plus, hiking burns way more calories than just walking around the neighborhood.

To be honest, I would have kept going but the sun was rapidly setting by that point.

It was while I was running around out there that I came to a few conclusions. As a history buff, I know a lot of things that most people don’t. As I was walking around, I correlated a lot of what I saw in the woods with historical personages who may or may not have existed. You see, being so deep in the woods, I was able to think that I heard things, but mostly, I was just scaring myself or it was squirrels running around. And as the sun began to set, and I thought that I might get stuck out there after sunset, I realized just how frightening the woods could be to the colonials. It really kind of clicked, then, why they would have been so worried and scared of it. And to be honest, I wonder if it’s maybe that kind of ancient horror that makes humans feel that they have to dominate nature as opposed to living with.

Just a thought.

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