In spite of tick warnings, the spirit moved me this morning to hike a little ways up Snake Mountain. This is a view from a driveway, on the lower slopes of the mountain.
Yesterday evening, after arriving at the home of my highly generous cousins who share their place during our Middlebury parent visits, J went walking up the hill behind their house. He found a rocky outcropping in the woods that he said would be perfect for a sunrise view. That tantalizing fact competed with the threat of ticks, one of which showed up during a lovely dinner at the Storm Café last night.
The sunrise view won out this morning, and up I went, after tightening my drawstring cuffs around my socks.
I love being in the woods. The smells of leaf decay, rotting stumps, damp moss and fungus fill me with soul comforts and childhood memories. Strange how the same processes taking place in my kitchen garbage have the opposite effect on my psyche.
There is always some level of anxiety for me in the woods, since my directional instincts are non-existent. So I have to be on high alert, turning around, spotting landmarks that I hope I’ll be able to both recognize and place into context. I figured if I just went down, I’d have to end up somewhere on Snake Mountain Road eventually, which was reassuring.
Showers of acorns from the oaks combined with some foraging creatures made for a great deal of extraneous noise.
I was only off by one house when I returned - small triumph of the day.
On descent I stopped periodically to inspect my pant legs. I was thoroughly covered with forest debris – burdocks large and small, broken off prickers, and a total of nine ticks. Blecch. Eeeeww. I shed my pants, socks and shoes outside the door, and will likely be brushing at my head and neck all day. But it was worth it.