A Mid-Winter Walk In The Nature Preserve

On Saturday the sun was finally shining, so Zen-Den and I went to the Nature Preserve for a walk. We enjoyed the opportunity to be outside in the fresh air on a brisk winter afternoon when there was no snow around. Here are a few photos I took along the way.

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path

We decided to take the flat, relatively mud-free trail. It was less than a mile, and interesting to wander along. Having never been on it before, we were pleasantly surprised by what we saw.

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rowena

Near the beginning of the trail we noticed this little cutie pie squirrel munching on a seed. I immediately named her Rowena.

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bench

A little farther along the trail we saw this bench that had an inscribed plaque on it. The plaque said: “Relax, Don’t Worry, Have Fun.”

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pond

We walked beside this partially frozen pond that was reflecting light into the darker forest just beyond it. The scene looked like something out of an animated Disney movie.

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cabin

Soon thereafter we walked across a field and came upon this relocated 200-year-old cabin. Much of the cabin’s wood is original.

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cabin-door

Entering the cabin through this door, we discovered a table and two benches + a fireplace. Nothing else in there. Very rustic.

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pond-2

Then, near the end of the trail we walked beside this small pond surrounded by tall grasses under the blue winter sky, making for a picture perfect photo at the end of our walk.

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Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

55 thoughts on “A Mid-Winter Walk In The Nature Preserve”

  1. Looks like a great place/day for a walk ~> 15 minutes of nature a day keeps health ills away . . . especially when we follow the bench’s admonition to “Relax, Don’t Worry, Have Fun.”

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        1. That’s a wonderful article. I walk most days on suburban streets, in an area with lots of trees and well-tended yards. I’m somewhere between a park and the mean streets– so taking the advice in this article to heart, I should shoot for a 30 minute walk each day.

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    1. The Chatty Introvert, it was nice to see the sky above after weeks of gray days. And while we only walked a short way I felt invigorated by it. We’ll go back– and tackle the longer trails.

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  2. That looks like a lovely walk. That cabin reminds me of a couple in my neighborhood – not quite as old, more like 100 years or so, but still in use with modern updates like plumbing and heat. The one I’ve been in has a classic double fireplace with one side in the main room that is big, but not huge, and the other in the kitchen that you could probably roast a whole pig in with a spit installed and somebody to turn the crank. The outhouse for that cabin is still standing too, but boarded up. The logs were squared off obviously with hand tools (adze marks) and are probably chestnut.

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    1. bobcabkings, the cabin in your neighborhood is a mansion in comparison to this one! There was no outhouse, but it had a small fireplace that wasn’t so modern as to be in the middle of the building. According to the information about the cabin, the wood was oak and tulipwood. You have to appreciate how much better we have it now, when you see how our ancestors lived.

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      1. So true about our ancestors. That cabin was in really bad shape, long neglected, when my parents moved here in 1980. That situation was largely due to a conflict among the heirs of the previous owner. About ten years ago one of the family members got full ownership (I think due to natural attrition.) and hired a local handyman (a born-and-raised-here old timer) who spent almost two years working on it to put it back in shape.

        Speaking of those ancestors and cabins, there’s a great story about one of the early settlers to cross the Appalachians. He built a cabin and found some readily available stone to build the fireplace and chimney, easy to work with, nice flat shale. The first time he lit a fire in the fireplace, the whole place burned down. It was oil shale, the stuff they do fracking on now.

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        1. Those a two wonderful stories. The first is believable considering how some families can’t agree the sky is blue, let alone handle shared ownership of a property.

          And the second story is tragic, but believable. Poor man, all that work… up in smoke.

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  3. What a great set of pictures! You really gave us a good perspective of your time in the Preserve. I’ve been so grateful for this Strange Winter we’ve been having in NEO: the sn*w doesn’t stay around too long because it’s followed by an unseasonable 50+ degree day. Sunshine is always in short supply, however, so I’m glad you were out in it, and in such nice environs. That Rowena–she looks snuggly.

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    1. nance, thanks! I never quite know how to go about talking about the walks we take. This one was so delightful for the reasons you mentioned in your comment. Rowena was the cutest little squirrel-ly whirl-ly I’ve seen in ages. [No disrespect to Fuzzy, of course.]

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  4. Great pictures Ally. I love places like this, and like you the flatter the landscape the better as my ankles and knees just don’t manage ups and downs over hills very well anymore.

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    1. Deb, while most of the trails in the preserve are hilly this one, that I think is newer, was flat as a pancake. I’m not sure what it’s official name was, but I’d call Happy Trail! 🙂

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  5. How cool is that! We would have to drive quite a way to find a nice trail like that. One of the things I am striving for this year is to spend more time with my hubby doing things like that. We do things together of course but most of the time I am working (he’s retired) and our together time is mostly watching TV or going to our concerts. A simple walk out in nature would be good for us! Thanks for taking us on your excursion!

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    1. Janet, this bit of outdoors is far enough away from us to make it special, but not far enough away to make it impossible to get to. We both like going to parks and just nosing around to see where all the trails take you. It’s an adventure! I look forward to seeing photos from your nature walks. 🙂

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  6. I do hope you plan on introducing Rowena to Mr. Fuzzy. It would be fun to have a squirrel family in your yard (or maybe if you were really “lucky”, Fuzzy would move to Rowena’s place)….

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    1. evilsquirrel13, Rowena’s got much nicer digs than Fuzzy does, so no doubt they’d live over at her place. Now if I can only figure out how to introduce them. Is there a Tinder for squirrels?

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  7. Thank you for taking us along – I love winter walks through the woods like this. You must be a squirrel charmer since they’re visiting your porch and now following you through the woods. 🙂

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    1. Sheila, I never thought of that before. Do I have a superpower which draws squirrels to me? Do I want to have that power?!! Rowena was the cutest little critter I’ve seen in ages. Had to snap a pic of her.

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    1. Kate, this cabin was a surprise to us. We’ve been to this preserve many times but had no idea it was back along this trail. That might be why kids, with bad intentions, don’t find it. Also you have to be a member of this nature preserve, or pay a daily fee, to get in. So that slows down, as my mother would have said, the bad elements.

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