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Yesterday’s hike was in the woods, not the forest, and there was no lake.6

There were a lot of trees, much the same sorts of trees as the previous day, and much the same little plants.

More of the little plants, actually, because it was a bit of woods, not a big deep dark forest, so more light gets through.

This is kinder to small plants.

The trail itself was also different.

Instead of a single trail, there was a maze of trails to choose from. They all start together, but then there are multiple points of choice.

What they had in common was that the first half went straight down and the second half came straight back up.

6This is a little hollow in the middle of town with a couple of miles (well, it could be 5 miles if you followed all of them around and around and went on every bit, I guess, but it’s a couple of miles if you just take one loop) of trail. You could hike this every day for a week without repeating yourself.

If you decide to do this, I do not recommend doing it with an obtrusively fit fifteen year old, unless of course you are similarly fit yourself. If you are finishing up the first half of a century on earth, you will notice that you are doing the second mile just as fast as the first even though it is at a 60 degree angle.

There were many interesting geometric effects.6

Tree trunks in interesting arrangements.

Rocks in odd juxtapositions.

Stuff like that.

I don’t know why there were so many fallen trees. The rocks also looked as though they had fallen down in great cataclysmic chunks. We’re not talking here about little round rocks, but about the big flat stones, granite or something. 

I feel as though I ought to know what they are, but I don’t.

6There is a ruin in the center of the hollow. You can see the foundation of the house, made of those same rocks, and a fallen section of roof.

You could imagine, looking at this place, that there was some avalanche or other catastrophe that caused it, all the trees and enormous rocks falling down into a gigantic hole in the ground that opened up when, um, the Witch of the West had the house fall on her.

Something like that.

It is cooler in the woods than out in the town. This woods is actually inside the town, so you can hear the 6occasional hum of traffic, but mostly you hear birds and small rustling animals.

I was surprised that we did not see any deer. We often see deer running across the roads near the wooded parts of the town, yet here we were in the actual woods, and nary a one.

Perhaps they did not want us to see them.

Or maybe these trails are too steep for the deer.

 

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I really liked this little ladder going over the giant log. Was it easier than climbing over the log without it? I am not sure.

I asked #2 son for a hand going down, and he grabbed my hand and pulled, so I got down rather faster than I had intended.

“You survived, didn’t you?” he asked in a QED sort of voice, prompting me to wonder how often I have said that sort of thing to him.

 

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At the end of the trail, where the trees open out and the light is greater, there are all these dog roses.

Beautiful.

The whole place is beautiful.

It was grass-roots community action that saved this hollow from the developers, by the way. It is now part of the parks and greenways system.

I wanted to share its history with you, but I 6can’t remember it accurately, and my desultory research only turned up a review of the trail, saying that it has “lots of Knarly dropins.” That is true, though I think I would have spelled that “gnarly.” However, we know that I am terminally unhip.

 

 

 

6 This was our post-hike dinner. Salmon croquettes with vegetables and coconut, stir-fry chicken and peppers, salad, and a couple of kinds of rice.

What to Eat moved on, in the section I read yesterday, to the main forms of protein. She was not as graphic about the practices of meat producers as some other writers. She was even kind and sympathetic. Think about all the offal slaughterhouses have left over, she said. Naturally, they want to sell it to someone, or feed it to their cattle, rather than having to figure out how to get rid of it.

It is hard for me to think of any way that turning herbivores into cannibals is natural, and I have some concerns about whatever sick puppy thought of that.

Still, it wasn’t a surprise. Nor was it a surprise that the main health advice about meat is not to eat very much of it. I was surprised that the levels of toxins in fish are high enough to make eating fish a trade-off. I was surprised that one egg a day is the safe and healthy quantity.  An omelette is my standard no-time-to-think lunch, but maybe that should change. The industry fights over labeling and their brazen marketing in the form of “education” were the most interesting parts to me. Nestle points out that many of the serious problems associated with protein foods (like food poisoning) can be avoided by safe kitchen practices, and I was nodding my head to that. But she also points out that the only reason we have to be so vigilant in our kitchens is that the meat industry wants to be free to do perfectly disgusting things in their workplaces. 6

I did some sewing yesterday. I have a batik print cotton which I plan to use to make a tunic for my SWAP, so I am auditioning a couple of tunic patterns with fabric from the $1 bin. This is Simplicity 3786 in a tropical print rayon. It has interesting seaming and a really flattering neckline, not that you can see those things in this photo. I think it looks like scrubs in this photo, but that is misleading. It is the kind of garment that looks better on a person than on the hanger, but I did find that it showed more cleavage than the pattern picture suggests. Too big, too small, I sewed one of the pieces in upside down, who knows? In any case, I sewed a bit of elastic inside the seam allowance of the front facing, and tacked the overlapping bits together high enough that my bra won’t show when I wear it, and I like it very well.

My daughter has told me that tropical prints are completely out of date and that prints this big only belong on sofas anyway, but you know, you can’t mind your children all the time. Tropical prints make me think of walking on the boardwalk as the sun sets over the ocean, with handsome young men and Anchor Steam beer, and that is not a bad thing to think of occasionally.

I have another length of $1 fabric and another pattern to try, and I expect to do it today. Then I can decide which one gets to be in the SWAP. There is also another hike in the plans for the day, though #2 son says he is not sure he can keep this up all week.