Saturday, April 11, 2009

A walk in the woods

Since the last 24 hours of my life were rather stressful, and since the doctors told me I could "resume normal activities" (I wonder if they really have any clue what they are okaying people to do when they say this), I decided to take the dogs to the nature trail this afternoon. It was a beautiful sunny spring day, in the mid-50s and no howling wind, for once.

I really like this trail. It winds through native timber and you have a choice of four different trail lengths. I usually do the 3.5 mile trail that leads back to the Iowa River. They opened this trail in 1988, the same year I moved to the area. Unfortunately, they've done practically NO maintenance on it since then, so parts are pretty primitive.

Unless you're the lead dog, the scenery never changes. Jamie is wearing his dog-pack he got from his Auntie Michele several Christmases ago. He likes being a pack Belgian and carries water, a bowl, cookies and this time, I even trusted him with my keys.

Here's a view of the Iowa River, looking north. There used to be an Indian fish dam, made from stones, located right below this bluff. The Indians used to "herd" fish into it for easy catching. In 1988, a serious drought year in the Midwest, the river was so low the fish dam was very visible. The flood of 1993 washed it out.

Native wildlife. They've had a drink and a cookie and now we're ready to head back to the van. It takes about an hour to do the 3.5 mile trail.

They call the area of timber this trail runs through an "oak savannah." That probably means something if you have a degree in forestry but I don't have a clue. There are all sorts of wildlife in this timber and we frequently see deer, gray squirrels, wild turkeys and eagles near the river. Who knows what the Belgians have spotted here. I didn't see anything. But I'm a human and obviously sensory-impaired.

This was the only wildlife I saw on today's hike. He was sunbathing and the dogs walked right over him. I thought some early wildflowers might be blooming but no luck. It's just been too cold.


  1. Very nice! Everyone needs a pack Belgian!!!

  2. You should have caught the snake!! What a cool pet!! Okay, he was happier left alone. Looks like you have help going UP the hills!! It was a great day! Glad you were outside to enjoy it!

  3. What fun!!! I haven't been to that trail in awhile - but after reading this I think I will have to take a couple of Germans over there one of these days!