Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Mindful Walking Post 4: Serendipity

It has been a while since my last mindful walking post, but I assure you I’ve been trodding along at a steady pace. Most of the trodding has been at Spring Creek Trail which is about a five-minute drive from my house. This 2.5-mile trail which runs east from I-35 to Arcadia Lake’s Spring Creek Park has been open approximately two years. Why I didn’t discover it until this past spring, I can’t say. But what a glorious discovery it has proven to be.
Although my walking “bible,” Afoot and Lighthearted by Bonnie Smith Whitehouse, suggests walking be a time of technology detox, I take my phone with me on this trail because there is always a picture to snap be it of flora or fauna. All summer and into fall, I’ve seen white-tail deer,
On a single walk I saw seven deer!

 assorted butterflies and birds,
Can you see him? That little speck
of white in the middle? I need a
better camera!


colorful and interesting trees and vegetation.

???
Any suggestions?
I learned a bois d'arc and an
Osage orange are the same tree.
Just depends if you're in Louisiana
or Oklahoma.


Sumac--one of the foresters
told me he uses the dried berries
as a spice.


Roughleaf dogwood

These mushrooms--dozens of them!--popped up by
the entrance after a heavy rain.

I’ve observed the water level at Lake Arcadia go from dangerously high to could-use-a-little-more, but always the lake has provided photo ops of inspiring, tranquil scenes.

















In past years, knowing the names of plants or trees or certain birds never interested me that much. But as I walked this trail and became more observant, I also became more curious about what I was seeing and photographing. (I know there are apps for that, but I wasn’t sure which one would work best, so I continued to walk in the figurative dark.) 

Last Saturday morning, after much deliberation, I decided to walk the trail rather than tackle all my weekend chores. When I pulled into the parking lot, I saw that Oklahoma Forestry Services had set up stations along the trail. There were signs and markers and also real live people to share their knowledge with curious walkers—like me. As I scrolled through all the photos I’d taken, the experts patiently answered my questions and gave me even more information about the forest I live in. (Yes, we Edmondites live smack dab in the middle of a forest.) It was one of my best walks ever! And to think I would’ve missed this serendipitous moment had I opted to do chores—which were still waiting on me when I got home. 



Put those chores on hold. Lace up your walking shoes and discover a new world right where you live!


    


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