The woods are alive with rain-drenched leaves. They soften my steps on today's hiking trail. And I can be a nature voyeur with my camera and binoculars.
Got up early, washed, then drove down a quiet Alberta road, composed of oil blending with rock, like a black snake humped in a straight line far ahead. Parked, got out.
Shoulders back, fingers clenched in pockets for warmth, foot forward, head hat-pressed tightly for warmth; now into the woods.
If only the trail was dry. Feet could ease across the soft ground, heel not pounding on hardened surface, but oh well. Satisfied now? Yes. And my route passes by a slough of murky water.
Good for ducks, dozens of them, as they rattle wings in flight, no time for friendship right now, just scooting on by.
Oh for a dip in that pond, to feel coolness on tired feet, wetness against my backside should be soothing. But I'm not a canvasback, comfortable in the slough and their feathers are probably itchy, need a washing.
My feet press forward, lift and up and on, like a moose. If I were a duck I'd nibble on those protruding weeds, ambush a bug or two. Or, perhaps dive amidst the flotsam gathered below the surface.
But thankfully I'm not a Teal or a Mallard with greenish tinge show-casing my softness below a furry looking head. French fries, burgers or even a slice of watermelon is more to my appetite.
Ahead I can see an outline of pole-fences, where a knowing comfort awaits, a blend of coffee with two eggs, sunny side up, perhaps a slice or two of bacon. The trail ends, a circle of hiking complete, car waits.
If I'm lucky, a nice Dexter steak on my plate will add joy to my view.
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Richard L. Provencher 2006
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