It is that time of year, that time when you have to use your vacation time or you risk losing the hours so I am using those hours for a couple Staycations in June. I figured out just a little bit ago that if I just hang out at home doing home stuff for the week it doesn’t actually give me relaxation – instead I start to hermit. During the last holiday break I made it a goal to get out every day to DO something… get some steps, go somewhere, treat myself to lunch, etc.and I found that I felt much more rested and ready to get back to work so I’ve made the same goals for these Staycations. Today’s adventure involved some steps and being outdoors with my camera, something I really enjoy.
The weather was perfect, sunny and in the low 70’s at 10am so I drove over to the Torrey C. Brown Trail, aka the NCR Trail, for a wander. It was absolutely beautiful.
I thought about bringing my headphones but I really like the peaceful noise of nature.
The wind blowing through the leaves, bird calls, and the occasional sound of critters skittering through the undergrowth.
Sometimes I would come around a corner to a surprise.
Like a Lime Kiln from the 1800’s…
or a bridge crossing a small river flowing through the woods…
or a bench in memorial to someone who loved the trail.
There are historical markers on the trail also.
There was even a spot where I could walk down to the water.
There must be fish as there were baby fish in the sunbeams. (see that little black “shadow”)
The honeysuckle were everywhere – so beautiful and sweet smelling.
There were lots of bees partaking.
There were berries ripening as well – wild blackberries, strawberries, and others.
I came upon a bridge, too.
Sort of a pretty bridge.
My daughter, on her walks to and from work at the NIH (The National Institutes of Heath), often comments that she can’t believe people don’t stop to watch the bunnies and deer that are so common on the NIH grounds. I thought of her when I stopped to look around and saw this little squirrel tucked away. It was being very still and quiet and felt safe – it didn’t move and just waited for me to move on. I also love my camera because I was able to catch this shot without scaring it.
I kept trying to capture a shot of this butterfly but there was just too much pollen available for it to stay still for long. This was the best I could do.
As I wandered, I shared the trail with other walkers, and runners, and cyclists. All ages… people in shorts and t-shirts just cruising and enjoying the day… people in lycra and UnderArmour with ear buds, kicking up some dust… moms running with little ones in strollers… families sharing nature with kids… you name it. Some nodded as they passed me, some said “HI” or waved, and one little girl asked if I was having a nice walk, which was adorable.
It was a good start to my Staycation – I got 10,000+ steps, fresh air, and some quality nature time.