Friday, August 22, 2008


This week I started a new exercise routine: walking on a nearby bike trail. I've been doing three miles a day, which for me is a lot (all you serious runners, please don't laugh at me!) It takes me about an hour, so I'm not going super fast either - but since prior to this week I was doing almost nothing, I feel good about it. I'm footsore and muscle sore, and it feels great. Today I went the extra mile - literally - and did four. It hasn't been hard to get up and go because the weather this whole week has been fantastic. Cool in the mornings and evenings, breezy, and never too hot. Virginia in August is usually so hot and humid that you get drenched in sweat just cracking open the front door, so this is unseasonably temperate. Nature must approve of my attempts at exercising.

I brought the camera along today so I could capture some of the beauty of the trail. For some reason everything came out a bit overexposed (I'm the epitome of "amateur enthusiast" when it comes to photography and generally have no idea what I'm doing) but I got some good shots of some flowers and critters along the way. And one near miss that could have been a great photo, but isn't.

The trail.

Ready to hit the road in my new shoes.

The underbrush is so dense this time of year. It's no wonder Sawyer always says "It's a rainforest!"

Part of the trail goes past a quarry. Sawyer loves to stop and see the huge trucks.

Goose Creek. Sorry about the chain link. For some reason they want to make sure the bikers don't fall off the bridge. By the way, you should know that it was a personal triumph for me to actually stop in the middle of the bridge to take this picture because of my crippling fear of heights. I was white-knuckling the camera the whole time.

Virginia countryside. I love the color of the grass at the end of summer, all bleached out by the sun.

Sawyer squinting into the sun and showing me his flower. He held onto it until it wilted away completely.

I wish I could tell you the names of all these flowers, but I have no idea what most of them are. Maybe a Virginian naturalist could step in and enlighten me (Katy??)

With Sawyer's help, I saw a lot of animals today.

A little groundhog that ran off as soon as we got too close and dived into his hole.

A moth that was fluttering around the wildflowers.

A large bird (how's that for descriptive?)

A heron and some Canada geese (I know what those are!)

Circling birds.

And the worst, which could have been the best:

Can you see it? Me either. I had stopped to photograph a bird that was perched on a branch, was just zooming in and focusing when I heard a crash in the brush close by. I jumped about a mile and looked up to see a male whitetail deer with a huge rack of antlers about 10 feet away from me. I was so startled that it took me a few seconds to get the camera pointed at him, and by that time he was completely covered by the bushes. Too bad I'm not Dwight Schrute.


  1. What a beautiful place to go walking! I'm like you, I don't know much about photography but I love to try! You got some beautiful pictures!

  2. I'm so totally jealous. I wish I had somewhere naturey to walk around here. I'm in the middle of suburbia and no one planned for anywhere nice to walk when they built this place. Also, I love how much nature you have back East.

  3. Wow! I can't imagine how you get any walking done at all. It's beautiful. Holy cow, I totally can't believe how big Sawyer is! I havn't seen his pics forever! I bet he just loves it!


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