9/15/2009

Repost of a Favorite

I'm busy with some things today. So, rather than post something that I don't have time to research, I thought I would post another of my "Best Of" or favorite post of mine. This post was made back in May of 2008. It was about my new beagle puppy (and now overgrown ogre) Ralph and I on a nature walk. Hope you enjoy it.

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Nature Walk


It seems like since I retired, I work more now than I did when I was in the active work force. This little computer maintenance part-time job has turned into a full-time job. Thus, I have little time to do the things I would like to do other than this blog (which I have become addicted to on so many levels). Not only does the computer maintenance sideline take up my time, but other things, such as my beagle puppy, place demands on my time. He wants attention...something I haven't had much time for since I bought him about four weeks back.

Yesterday morning, I decided my now 10 week old beagle, Ralph, and I would do what I have always enjoyed since I was a little boy; taking a walk through the woods. There is a nature trail about five miles from my home. The trail itself is about two and half miles long, a bit too long for Ralph. But, I don't mind letting him “walk me” or, in other words, me carry him for a spell. Ralph loves to go walking. He sniffs and barks at everything.

With the entire morning off, I could kill two birds with one stone. One, more time with Ralph. Two, time to myself in nature. From the very start of the trail, you go quickly into a very wooded area. It's not somewhere you would want to be at night. So we are walking along the trail, squirrels jumping from tree to tree, birds chirping, bees humming....aaaah, nothing like nature on a bright sunny spring day. So, we come up on the proverbial babbling brook about a mile into our walk and I decide to let Ralph rest for a while. He's got little legs and he was panting pretty heavy. Plus, he needed a drink of water. I'm just sitting there on a tree stump, watching him drink his fill from the stream and thinking back to my boyhood when I went deep into the woods in MS with other dogs that I loved. We are both sitting and having a good time enjoying the sights and sounds of God's Creation. I remember a many time when as a boy my dogs and I would go out into the woods, I would shoot at squirrels and a rabbit or two. I would always shoot over them. I just have never been able to kill anything unless it was in self-defense. That's as much hunting as I could ever do. Why kill something unless you desperately need it for food? I never saw the sport in killing a defenseless animal with a high-powered rifle. But, that's just me. But, I'm just sitting on the log, watching Ralph run around having himself a good old time. And I start contemplating about things in my life. Some of them I'm not happy about, others I'm satisfied with the outcome. But, this blog entry isn't going into aspects of my life again. This is about me, Ralph and the nature trail.

So, after about 15 minute rest, Ralph and I continue our journey through the woods. Everything was bright and colorful...just a real joy to be alive on a morning like this. There was a tree that had fallen on the trail and Ralph tried to make the jump over it. Unfortunately, he got caught up in some limbs and I had to rescue him. Of course, he had to growl at the tree to make sure it was aware he was definitely an alpha male. We were nearing the end of the trail when something came directly in our path...a skunk. I froze, the skunk froze, but Ralph did not. He charged toward the skunk and I tackled him before he got any further. I heard the skunk hiss and just KNEW I was going to get showered. But, I guess I was still out of range because he did not turn up his tail. I had to hold Ralph, barking, yelping and struggling to get out of my arms. The skunk, thankfully, retired from the field of battle and went on about his business. Unfortunately, it meant I had to carry Ralph the rest of the way. He wanted that skunk. But, he had no idea what that skunk could have done to him. Forget the golden shower defense mechanism. Ralph would have gotten a butt whipping like he never dreamed about. Those things are fierce fighters and I've seen them take on two full grown hound dogs before. They're small but they can more than hold their own against a much bigger adversary.


All in all, yesterday morning was an invigorating, enjoyable occasion for me. I got my mind off a few troubles I have and got to do what I enjoy so much...a nature walk. Besides the exercise, it brought back so many enjoyable experiences I had in the past during my childhood. Nothing really eventful happened (not counting the skunk incident) that I would normally make a blog entry about. Maybe that was the whole point. It was just something simple and free that you receive in life. I've got to make time to do this again...and soon. Hopefully, Ralph (I will upload some pics of Ralph soon...my digital camera is missing in action) will be a little bigger and much wiser the next time I have a free day for another nature walk.







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