The sun was streaming through the french doors in my bedroom at 7:00 this morning, so I figured why stay in bed and waste a minute of sunshine and I fed the pets, got our hiking backpack together, and layered up.
When Barley and I went to get in the car, I immediately decided I was crazy. The windows were all frosted over and when I turned the car on, the thermometer said it was 25° outside! I was glad I grabbed an extra layer on our way out of the door.
We stopped for a chicken biscuit on the way, but as soon as Barley realized where we were going, she started prancing in the backseat. We hadn't been to the Arboretum since November and we were both beyond excited to pull into the parking lot around 8:45. (The perks of being a member--we can get in from sun up to sun down whether they are officially open or not!)
There were only a few cars in the parking lot and we were adventuring for over an hour before we ever saw another human. There were no elusive black squirrels taunting us, no deer, no turtles, no coyotes, and no visible birds, but we did hear several different birds singing. It was like Barley and I had the whole place to ourselves. (Check out these awesome pictures the Arboretum posted on Facebook earlier in the winter!) At one point, my phone rang (the plumber finally showed up and my landlady was letting him in to turn of the water) and it was so unnatural and jarring that I didn't even realize what was making that noise at first.
|Posing in some of our favorite spots!|
To get down to the creek, you have to go down a ton of stairs. Barley and I were definitely out of practice on stairs. By the end of last summer, we were so good that I didn't have to feed her a billion treats to get her to stay by me (although she did get them on every landing just for reinforcement). Today, she wanted to charge ahead, so there were lots of reminders to heel and lots and lots of treats. The stairs were also rough! Who knew that we could be so out of shape (at least as far as climbing stairs is concerned) even with all of our walking!
|We paused because |
|Icy ponds and paths!|
Then she pranced down the boardwalk to the benches with me, so we could sit and enjoy the peace and quiet for a minute.
By the time we got to the rhododendron garden, the temperature had gone up to closer to 40° so the mud that had been frozen when we first arrived was good and sloppy. Barley left the rhododendron garden and her whites were anything but white! Thank goodness I found a towel hidden under the seat of the car--otherwise our seat cover would be really disgusting now.
After a good two hours of romping in the woods, Barley and I are both in much better spirits--our neighborhood walks were getting old and after teaching Walden in US Lit this week I was dying to get back out into the woods and live deliberately with my dog. Fingers crossed that we get lots more of these sunny, warmish (I never in a million years would have thought that I'd think 40° was warm before moving here!) days in the near future so our weekends can involve more adventures!
We've spent the rest of the day lounging and reading Ian McEwan's new novel Sweet Tooth that I checked out from the library on my iPad. Isn't technology super cool? I can check out library books without leaving the couch! I'm three chapters in and I can honestly say I have absolutely no idea what this book is about, but I think I like it.
And, I would be a bad pet mommy if I didn't include at least one picture of my baby boy cat, too!
|Sothy got a new knit catnip toy to celebrate the sunny day. I caught him in mid-play.|