Friday, July 20, 2007

Almost Perfect Day for a Walk in the Woods

I woke up this morning to some perfect weather. There was a lovely breeze coming in the office window, almost no humidity, and mild mid-70's predicted for the day. We've been baking in a sauna lately, so this was entirely, whole-heartedly welcome.
There were a million things to do. I hurried to get orders packed up and shipped so that would be done for the day, and grabbed some groceries on the way home from the post office. The yellow Queen Anne cherries must have had a great year, because they were the same price as the Bings. Yummah!
After lunch, I had an appointment with the soap wrapping machine, and to put finishing touches on the upcoming issue of the magazine, but first it was into the woods.
I went alone and have mixed feelings about that. On one hand, it's such an incredible feeling of solitude, and being *in* the woods, while on the other, there's that feeling of solitude and being *in* the woods. It started out walking along the pond. I stopped to see if I could catch a glimpse of the koi under the duckweed. Directly behind me in the underbrush of the bank something moved. A lot. It could have been a groundhog, or a rabbit. Or it could have been a snake. And so it begins. Why, oh why do I never bother to change into boots?
This spring, my brother-in-law cut a path along the creek that runs through the woods. I thought it would be a good chance to see what grows there because up until now it has always been too overgrown to actually get in there any time beyond the end of May. There is an entire meadow of jewelweed! It is beautiful all along the path. However, there hasn't been a lot of rain lately. That means that there are little pools of stagnant water where the creek isn't running fast enough to keep it moving. Bugs. Lots and lots of bugs.
But the butterflies made up for that! They were everywhere, and I probably saw 10 or 12 different kinds. I'd taken along a berry basket just in case there were some stragglers to pick. I was very glad to have something to swing because the spiders have found the path to be an excellent place to weave webs and catch stuff. Today that was me. It's hard to keep your eyes on the path to watch for snakes while swinging a basket ahead to avoid spider webs. It must have been an amusing sight to the deer who were watching from behind the brush.
Towards the end of the woods, there is a steep hill that leads to a field of evergreens. I walked along the edge of the field, and discovered that Japanese beetles must really love wild grape leaves. All along the ground were leaf skeletons in varying shades from pale green to dark brown. They look like lace, and I scooped up a few of them. There must be a way to preserve them, because they are just beautiful. As I got to the grove of Mimosa trees, the scent of the blossoms hit me full force, stopping me in my tracks. How have I never smelled that before? We had purchased some Mimosa wax when we had the shop - a byproduct of the process used to acquire the absolute used in aromatherapy. It was not nearly as fragrant as the flowers!
The afternoon ended with me watering the garden, and my daughter blithely leaving the house and LOCKING THE DOOR so that I couldn't get in! Luckily, she was just down the hill. The little scamp. Yeah, that's what she is.
Oh... and I think I found some Jersey tea. I'll have to look more closely tomorrow. That will have to wait until we get home from our first day at the local farmer's market. I can't wait to see how that goes!

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