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Walk It Off

February 15, 2009

The view from a great deal of the logging road was this...tall, tall trees. They'd break open periodically and give us a view of the James River.

The view from a great deal of the logging road was this...tall, tall trees. They'd break open periodically and give us a view of the James River.

Duane and I took a meandering little stroll today down an old logging road up in the National Forest in Bedford County. Our goal was primarily just to get away from it all: people, politics, the pointlessness of perspectives that clash. So we gathered Izzy and the camera, a couple bottles of water, and we walked.

 

 

Duane provided a very educational discourse as we walked on his passion: coyote tracks, bobcat tracks, bear sign, turkey sign, and of course, whitetail deer sign. We saw, no kidding, all of these items, in one form or another. Paw prints, feathers, scat, claw marks on a tree…you name it, we saw it. Duane’s powers of observation, I must admit, are pretty impressive. Especially when I am given to looking pretty much straight ahead of me at the trail, making sure I’m not coming up on anything to trip over.  

One of those signs...a turkey feather caught on a bramble bush.

One of those signs...a turkey feather caught on a bramble bush.

Another sign...you can see, if you look closely, a bear claw mark in the tree bark. In the next photo you'll see prof. Duane explaining...

Another sign...you can see, if you look closely, a bear claw mark in the tree bark. In the next photo you'll see prof. Duane explaining...

 

 

...how bears will climb white oak trees and knock smaller branches containing acorns to the ground so they can easily eat them. Duane is so smart.

...how bears will climb white oak trees and knock smaller branches containing acorns to the ground so they can easily eat them. Duane is so smart.

 

Izzy was a trooper for a Chihuahua, tromping through leaves and mud and getting stone bruises on her cute little feet like it was nothing. I suppose this is because she’s not some pansy city Chihuahua, but a tough-cookie country Chihuahua. She likes her cow manure.

Izzy-bizzy, keeping step.

Izzy-bizzy, keeping step.

 

 

This is how Duane finds his peace…being out in the woods, no one and no thing around—not even the sound of traffic to disrupt the rush of wind in the trees. He likes the soft stamp of his own booted feet as they mash down leaves and pine needles, the scent of the outdoors and nothing else. He doesn’t worry about conversation or questions that could probably be answered without ever being asked, because there’s usually no one accompanying him. It’s just him, and this world. It’s not my kind of peace—in fact, it’s probably a peace limited to a rare few kind of people—but I cannot begrudge him this. And so I don’t. Chores may go undone sometimes around the house, but I’d rather have a husband at peace than a lawn perfectly, perennially mowed.

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