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SIFWIW - Nuts About Nature

The only thing I can say is, crap last week was long and the end was stressful. And now my DVD player doesn't work, which really sucks, but I'm coping. 

Saturday I was in the doldrums and to be honest, the weather is part of it. It's been so cloudy here lately that it drags me down and makes me tired. So I went to the library with the intention of adding a whole bunch of words to my WIP. I sat there for about four hours, but didn't reach my goal before my computer battery threatened to quit on me. When I got outside I was like, it's only 1 pm, what do I do now?

My brain went dut, dut, dut, dut . . . Nature Center! I was like, yeah, brain, that's it! The Springfield Nature Center! Because by then the sun was shining. So I took me a little drive up to Springfield, missed the exit, of course, then found it again and pulled into the parking lot. I've been there before, but never on the trails. So here are some photos of a pretty cool nature trail.
The top photo there is of a paved trail. This photo on the right is an unpaved trail, which is more my style. It's called Foxbluff Trail and went up, up, up to a loop. I saw lots of squirrels which was kind of unimpressive because I see squirrels all the time, but it's funny to listen to city people talk about them like they're really rare or something. "Look, squirrels!" Um, yeah, tree rats. They're edible too, city folk.

See? This here is a squirrel. He's looking for his nuts. Probably.


At the top of Foxbluff Trail, where there were no other people because the couple with the loud little boy chose to go down the path with the sign that said Long Trail 2 miles (and didn't believe it was that far), I found these:






I got within 10 or 15 feet of them. The one above this text didn't have spots, but it was the littlest of them and you could see it was a baby. It was so cute. It kept lifting its tail to show the white like, eep! A People! 

Then I went back down the trail and it another one called Boardwalk Trail. It ran down by Lake Springfield (yeah, like in The Simpsons, but not that Springfield). I saw this boardwalk and I was like, sheesh, where are the alligators? It looks like the swamps in Louisiana. I didn't go all the way down it because it just looped around and I saw another bridge and decided to go that way instead. It's call Sycamore Cut-off.
Pretty bridge. It joined a trail called Long Trail and I thought, nah, not feeling the longness right now. Yes, I was wearing flip flops instead of tennis shoes. In my defense, my tennies were soaking wet because they'd been out in the rain after last week's jaunt down Wilderness Road where I got into a mess of seed ticks. And I didn't plan on walking on Saturday, so I didn't think I'd need tennies.

 This is the view off the bridge. Muddy because we had some rain, which we needed, but it was kinda icky looking. Don't drink the water, don't eat the red berries. Got it? There were people canoeing on the lake, though. In the end, in a much better mood, I turned around over the bridge and decided to take a photo of this bluff in front of the bridge because it's purty. Still all nice and green and shady. I kind of wanted to just live there. Except they close the gates at 8 pm and I'm scared of the dark, so that wouldn't work out very well.

On the way back I got this little picture of a chipmunk butt. I stopped in the trail to take the photo and this family of people that looked like hippies were all, "Shh, don't move! It's a chipmunk!" They all froze and stared at it like they'd never encountered a chipmunk before. I thought they were just being polite while I took the photo, but they continued to revere the sight of a tiny woodland creature, never even taking their eyes off of it as I passed by them. I was confused.

 I really enjoyed the walk, even though on the way back it was a lot of uphill. I had to pretend I wasn't huffing and puffing while all these buff joggers ran by me. No, no, I'm fine. Just because I'm laying in the middle of the path, red-faced and clutching my chest doesn't mean I'm out of shape and having a heart attack.

Note to self: Stop going where the show-off joggers are.

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