I spent a few hours biking through Wheeler Wildlife Refuge this morning.
I love being in the woods, surrounded by nature, and the only sounds I can hear are birds singing. The woods are my happy place.
I go into the woods alone, to sit in silence and listen. I hear birds singing, bugs chirping, and the wind rustling through the leaves. I can smell the freshness in the air. The longer I sit the more at peace I feel. I am becoming one with the nature around me. I feel a longing to connect with the animals that hide or scurry about. I close my eyes, and let all the stress leave my body. In that moment, all feels right with the world. That’s why I go into the woods.
Malia and I were heading home from our vacation and decided we had time for one last adventure, so we explored the Osceola National Forrest in Florida.
The forrest was amazingly beautiful. It was full of swamps and foliage. I was hoping to see an alligator, but the weather was to cold. However, I did find a banana spider and had my picture taken while standing beside it. The spider blended into the background, so it’s hard to see it in the picture.
As I walked along the trail, I listened closely to the sounds of the birds and any other animals that might be in the area. I felt a closeness to nature, a feeling of being one with my surroundings.
I was intruder in another world and hoped to see that world play out in front of me. I also wanted to tread softly, to prevent creating a disturbance in that world.
Walking through Osceola National Forrest was a fitting adventure to end our vacation.
As teenagers, my brother and I spent a lot of time playing in the woods. We went hiking, fishing, and swimming in the creek.
We also built a makeshift fort and took some of my mom’s old lawn furniture down there. Mom never did figure out what happened to her chairs.
We spray-painted graffiti under the bridge. We wrote our names, the names of our dogs, and noted each year we were there.
Basically, the two of us ran wild through those woods and we were having a blast.
That was 26 years ago. Aaron passed away three years ago and his birthday is on Monday. I decided to take his daughter (Gwen) out there. She heard various stories over the years, but never got a chance to see the area. It seemed like a good way to honor Aaron’s memory.
I was surprised to see a lot of our graffiti is still there. Each step I took, felt like I was going back in time. Even though the terrain has changed some over the years, I could still recognize different sections and areas. I still remembered my way around those woods.
Memories of those days flooded my mind. It was a surreal feeling. I could almost see us and our dogs running wild. I was excited to see it all again. However, I felt the grief of my brother’s death.
I was hiking down memory lane and my heart was overflowing with mixed emotions.
I went biking at Harvest Nature Preserve today and I almost ran over a snake. When I spotted it on the trail, I skidded to a stop to get a better look at it. The little fellow was slithering away as fast as it could, but I still managed to get one good photo.
Gwen and I took two of our dogs (Blue and Buddy) hiking last Saturday. We followed the Burritt Nature Trail in Huntsville, Alabama.
It’s a great place to hike and explore. You will find interesting foliage and caves. However, the trial can get pretty rocky at some points, so you have to watch your step.
As you follow the trail, you will find a clearing in the woods and at the edge of that clearing is a massive cross. The cross was built in 1963 by the Huntsville Ministerial Association.
The trail then continues behind the cross. At this point it is steep and extremely difficult to navigate. The trail takes you up to the top of the mountain. The view up there is extraordinary and well worth the effort.
We took a rest break at the top of the mountain, then we went back down to the clearing, and continued to follow the trail.
It took us two hours to complete the entire trail. When we got back to the Jeep, we were all sweaty, dirty, stinky, hungry, and completely exhausted.
I decided to go off roading this week and my mom was riding in the Jeep with me. We went down an old dirt road that was full of large holes.
I was just about to compliment my mom for not getting nervous and for handling the situation so well. However, at that moment we hit a large hole in the road and the Jeep tilted right a good bit. My mom immediately cried out, “I think I’m going to have a heart attack!”
I started laughing and told her I was just about to say how good you were doing on this trip. Oh well, maybe next time.