Our hiking adventures are becoming fewer and farther between, but that doesn't mean the woods don't keep on with their beckoning. We won't stop visiting the forest even in the heart of winter, so the preparation of warm woolen long johns will soon be on my to buy list.
Sunday found us wading through the trees, crunching passage shin high in brown crispy leaves. Often we had to pause our steps, so that we could hear eachother voice.
Nature conserves, state parks, and New Jersey (on Sundays) are safe for hiking during hunting season. And even still for safety's sake, we darn fluorescent - here I am - orange stocking caps. Also, it makes easy spotting of each other when one lags behind (a.k.a me, taking photos)!
The birds seemed excited, joyfully playing as they chased tree to tree. There were birds on the trails that should have already been far south, but not. Groups of robins clucked like chickens as they seemed to lead us deeper into the woods. Another group... of bluebirds rejoiced on sumack clusters... they're blue standing out so royally against the red tipped tree limbs. I just stood there in marvel, knowing it a blessing to see these birds before true winter sets in.
And the red berries... oh the red berries, the only color left on the trees were a prevalent species. I was obsessed with photographing them, and before long had a fall bouqet in hand. What started with one berried twig, became an autumn arm full of dried golden rod and redish oak leaf branches. The perfect ending touch? Dried curling vines that the boys found.
There is no doubt that nature; the great outdoors, is natural medicine to me. A daily fifteen or more leaves me in a better mindset than before I stepped one booted toe outside. I need the outdoors like I need oxygen to breathe. I come from a long line of outdoors-men (my father and grandfather) who would rather spend all their time in the woods than in a house.
Some things that you can't explain as hereditary, just are... and I am thankful to have tree limbs, fresh air, and the need for earth run through my viens.