Return to Summer

Weeks have raced by since I have had a chance to write down a few thoughts.  This morning my summer routines are reestablished and I have a wonderful set of stories about morning walks to share.  In the summer, my daughter and I like to walk early in the morning before we begin the busy days.  This weekend my friend joined us for two of our walks.

Walking becomes more than just an exercise routine for us; it is pure joy.  On Saturday morning, the three of us leashed up the three dogs and headed off.  Our walk includes looking for deer, watching the geese and ducks at the lake, and preparing for any other darting nature surprise.

Saturday morning, we thought we had it made.  The doggies, no longer puppies, were slowing down and we were about 2/3’s back from our walk.  Suddenly the labradoodle spotted two of the ducks on the side of the road–which means they have to cross it to the safety of the lake.  Lila spotted them and took off.  The lead just spun off the rolling mechanism and was gone in a flash.  My daughter walks Lila and she started screaming at her and telling her to sit.  No luck.  She was ready for duck!

After about two leaps, Lila pounced on the duck, who was waddling as fast as he could, but she looked back at us as the yelling continued.  In that split second, the duck made it to the edge of the lake.  Lila took another pounce or two and landed on top of it as it slid into the lake.  We were all sure it was over for the duck, but luckily Lila is unsure of swimming and the duck took a dive.  Lila froze, standing in the water wondering what to do.  She would look back at us, then at the lake.  The duck was out of sight and safely in the lake.  Whew!  That was a scarry, hilarious moment in our walking journals, but it won’t be the last.

Today’s walk brought new surprises.  My friend was still with us, so we had all three again.  This time it seemed as though we were going to have a pretty uneventful walk, but when we reached the second lake we walked right into another surprise.

At this lake, Missy, the chocolate lab, wants nothing more than to swim and wade through the edge of the lake.  I try to keep her from doing that until we get to a more open area, so the leads were about half the length they can be.  As we were walking along, watching the lake, we noticed an animal’s head swimming right at the edge of the lake.  At first sighting, I figured it must be a muskrat as we have seen some of them in the past, but it took only a flash to realize that was way too big a head for a muskrat.

Funny how quickly the brain can process images and try to connect them with the knowledge bank you have acquired over your lifetime.  In that moment of recognition, the animal noticed us and began to swim away from the bank.  All of the sudden, behind the head almost two feet, we saw this huge flat thing pop up from the water and flap down loud and hard–it was a BEAVER!

We have never seen a beaver in this lake so we were totally surprised.  Of course Missy was surprised, too, and immediately wanted to chase.  I held on and kept the lead as short as possible, but as soon as we reached the open gravel area, I let her go.  The beaver was swimming just ahead of us.  We were so surprised that we literally froze and watched.  We lost visual contact, but suspect it swam to the other side where we could see, somewhat, a brush pile that looked newly gnawed–but we all were visually hampered without our glasses or binoculars for the walk.

Now that Missy had been swimming our planned two mile walk turned into three in hopes it would help her dry out.  Se we continued onward,  Nothing major appeared except for a couple of rabbits and a turtle, until we got to one of our pause points.  We made it all the way to the first lake without any other excitement.  Then we reached the dock area of the lake–there were seven baby Canadian geese.  The geese live here year round, but we have never seen the Canadians with goslings.  There is another goose who has had one gosling last year and again this year, so it is not a rarity, but it was still a great one to see,

Our morning walks are never just about exercise.  We enjoy the dogs so much, we see nature and know that God is there each and every morning.  Sometimes it may just be a set of clouds in the sky, but we never fail to breathe in the morning air, see something of beautfy or God’s world.  I look forward to each and every chance I have to be out there walking the dogs and seeing all that we have.

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