One of the things on my summer to do list is "exercise daily." I had been doing well (except for the weekends, unless you call gardening, loading and unloading cars, lounging on the beach or floating in a pond exercise) up until this week, when E and Z started nature camp, and I spend my lunch hour picking them up from camp, taking them to daycare and driving back to work (ugh, I don't even want to talk about all the gas, emissions, etc. in order to send my kids to "nature camp" so sad and ironic).
I'm very fortunate to have a beautiful expanse of open space right across the street from my office.
There are many trail options, but I stick to a little loop that takes me exactly half an hour, including a few minutes resting by the pond to contemplate the frogs and dragonflies.
On the day I took these pictures, I was crouching down near the pond, trying to catch a glimpse of a frog and reminiscing about the time I and my now-retired friend, Don, heard an American bittern "wonk-a-chunk"-ing in this very pond, when I heard rustling in the rushes nearby. At first I only saw what appeared to be a brown, furry hind end. Could this be a beaver, I wondered? Then a tall, pointy appendage came into view. A rabbit? So near the water? Then I saw that the appendage had a round yellow eye, and I realized I was face-to-beak with a bittern (perhaps the very one we heard calling several years ago?) As I fumbled to get my camera pointed and in focus (dang thing was set to "macro") the bittern assessed the situation and flew off to the other wetland, out of view.
I'm not sure if a half hour of moderate-speed walking, with little breaks to observe the house wren who lives near the entrance of the hosta garden, actually counts as exercise, but it's better than what I was doing before, and what I'm doing now again (temporarily), which is not a heckuvalot.
And 30 minutes in nature every day really is balm for the soul, don't you think?