Portrait of a Walk

11454297503_e27946e4ff_hIt was a long, lingering winter. Now that spring is finally here, I feel like I’m trying to absorb it through my very pores.  Taking advantage of more daylight and warmer temperatures, I’ve been walking a lot after work lately.  Today, I visited a local preserve to visit some vernal pools and then walk a loop around the heath. It was a glorious spring afternoon, cool, but brilliantly sunny.


At the first vernal pool my eyes skimmed the water, searching for frogs or turtles. Light rippled on the pond water and the cattails whispered dryly in the gentle breeze. A shadow caught my eye. I watched fascinated as a salamander swam just beneath the surface of the water. It propelled itself forward, then slowed, allowing its legs to dangle. I watched for long minutes mesmerized by its movement in and out of shadows.


At the second vernal pool, two turtles, hearing me approach, slipped off their small island and into the water. I sat on a granite outcropping at the water’s edge.  I waited, relaxed, yet watchful. Finally, under the water, I saw movement.  I followed a turtle’s path as it swam across the pond to emerge near a short distance away. It looked at me. We sat together in the shade, while the birds called and red squirrels and chipmunks rustled through the leaves.

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After a bit, I walked over to the heath trail. Overhead a trio of ducks flew, their calls a counterpoint to the burgeoning chorus of the peepers. The heath grasses unfolded with green upon green upon green. My eye was drawn to clusters of fiddle head ferns lollipopping in Seuss-like bouquets and the architecture of unfolding skunk cabbage. Puddles reflected tree trunks, budding branches and blue skies. 



Finally, turning a corner on the path, I saw a muskrat zooming through the water toward me, its wake a perfect vee. It came closer and closer, and then stopped to scramble out of the water onto some watery hillocks. It nibbled at some plants. I watched. We spent long minutes together in the heath. 


Finally, I moved on, lost in my surroundings until I finished my walk, thankful and at peace.

What a beautiful day. What a beautiful place. What a beautiful world.


10 thoughts on “Portrait of a Walk

  1. Amanda Potts says:

    Mmm… thanks for taking me on this wonderful walk with you. I love the photographs and the quiet, observant participation in life that permeates your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks, Amanda. What a contrast this is to your piece today. I read your post this morning and have been thinking about it all day– its content and your writing. Both are so powerful. I haven’t had time to organize my thoughts to respond but will do so soon.


  2. Alice Nine says:

    Indeed! What beauty! What peace! So well conveyed in your words and lovely photographs. The words you chose to describe yourself are so fitting: fascinated, mesmerized, relaxed, watchful, lost, thankful, peaceful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks, Alice! I really enjoyed your beach-y piece today. There are so many beautiful places in this world and I’m thankful I have the time and opportunity to explore some of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ramona says:

    Such beautiful writing! I felt as if I was sitting right beside you observing the same things. I especially liked this sentence – “Overhead a trio of ducks flew, their calls a counterpoint to the burgeoning chorus of the peepers.” An auditory as well as a visual treat!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s some gorgeous and eye-catching stuff you found on your vernal pond walk. Thanks for bringing us along in pictures and in words.
    Happy spring!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. margaretsmn says:

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful walk with the fascinating animals and plants. Did you write a poem for Today’s Little Ditty? Look at this month’s challenge. I think you could find a poem here.


  6. Thanks for taking me along on your afternoon walk in the wild. Pictures and text meld wonderfully.


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