The First Hike of Autumn

Yesterday was the first day of Autumn here, and true to form, it was 95 degrees with not a cloud in the sky. I walked nearly nine miles (according to the fitbit) and about three of those miles were outdoor miles. By the end of that, I was grateful for every little patch of shade. I got home and threw myself directly in the shower to cool off.

Through the miracle of no time, I’ve managed not to get burned this summer, although I think it would still be possible, if I were actually running around in summer-type clothes and exposing skin. Farmer’s tan all the way.

The weird thing is, I’m not all that much of an outdoors-y type. I don’t hunt. I don’t fish. The thought of a picnic–and bugs, and heat, and… grass itching my legs–isn’t a big positive. I hike. And… that’s about it. Now and then, the thought of camping occurs to me, but then, the price of tents and bug spray eventually stops me. (And, you know… that one X-Files episode where the tiny, swarm-y bugs… **shudder**)

Then again, it’s possible I’m just an introvert. The thought of going out camping–with others–never really struck me when I was a kid, so there’s no camping expertise now. And it’s possible that camping alone miles from civilization might not be the safest choice I could make, anyway.

Camping!

The general memory of that was a girl scout camp outside my home town. Cabins with running water, and a swimming pool, and lots of team sports. They served Spaghetti Os, which–believe it or not–are slightly better coming up than they are going down. (There was no second day at camp.)

And someday, I’ll have to tell you about that time I took an extrovert up a mountain. (It was a small mountain. And a large extrovert.)

As a part of an extended hike, though… (Considers cost of equipment.)

I am going to wind up gnawing off my own arm to survive.

I Went For a Walk In the Woods

I went for a walk in the woods (Fontenelle Forest, to be precise) and a quick visit to the connected raptor rescue, where they rehabilitate birds of prey. (Just birds of prey. Not ducks. Not woodpeckers. Birds of Prey) They also house a number of birds which would not be able to survive in the wild for various reasons. The short-term residents are kept separately, since they’re not supposed to be socialized to love humans, but the long-term birds are out for the public (provided that they aren’t fostering orphan birds, of course).

Now, to be clear… this is one of those places where an annual membership would be much cheaper for regular visits (uhm, actually if two adults in your family go more than twice in a year) and also there are some benefits (such as after hours access) that would be well worth having, if I lived closer.

A hawk. Unreleaseable due to partial amputation of her wing.

Unmatched pair of owls.

Trees.

Trees.

 

More trees.

 

There are even indoor trees! This one is more naturalistic than some bookstore trees I’ve been acquainted with.

The raptor area and some of the trails are wheelchair accessible, as is the main building. (boardwalk-style trails, if that makes a difference to anyone.)