Regular Life

Regular Life

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost

Wandering Away from Work (Three)

As one who brings his lunch to work, I rarely get out of the office until quitting time. When the weather’s right, however, I can be found wandering away from work. I have made a few discoveries along the way.

Wandering last Thursday, I drove to the spot where Plano holds its annual Balloonfest. If nothing else, I wanted to see the area without all the crowds, food and drink vendors, and other accoutrement of a summertime festival. The signs told me it was Oak Point Park, which I recognized from earlier online research of potential local hiking destinations.

I worked my earbuds into my ears, pressed “play” for some Rilo Kiley on my music player, grabbed my camera gear, and hit the paved path toward the woods. Just a hundred feet short of a bridge crossing a wide creek, I spotted and veered onto a trail leading into the trees.

DownstreamWithin a minute I felt immersed. Old, tall trees towered all around. My music was at just the right level that I still could hear the remaining leaves applauding as I passed.

A few steps later I approached the edge of a high creek bank. Although October’s heavy rains were behind us, the creek rushed past, freshly fallen leaves spinning lazily on its translucent surface. On the opposite bank, a narrow strip of forest gave way to a sunlit meadow.

Green AblazeThe trail took me back into the woods, but never wandered far before returning me creekside. Although most trees had let their leaves go, a few held on to reds, oranges, and yellows.

At each trail intersection stood a short, stocky post, its tip coming to a point similar to a whittled stick — brand new if appearances were to be believed. None bore any markings, so I’m curious to see what is done with them.

Old WitnessThe next trail I chose led me back to a clearing, where an old tree with a forked trunk stood tall against the blue sky. Against an overcast or stormy sky it might have seemed foreboding, but I saw it as a welcome sign for me to headed back into the woods for a few more minutes of escape.

As one who grew up in the Ozark foothills and has lived near them or the Appalachians all his life, I always have equated outdoor activities with mountains. At 800 acres, Oak Point Park is only about 40 smaller than New York’s Central Park, and provides not only a great escape from the office’s confines, but a reminder that an enjoyable walk in the woods does not require hills. It definitely is a place I would like to take my family.

2 Responses to Wandering Away from Work (Three)

  1. Great pictures…. and a nice place to be able to walk to from work!!!

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  2. Sure, “Downstream” was nice, and “Old Witness” had a certain air of majesty about it, but you really captured something gorgeous there in “Green Ablaze”, Mark. The composition, reflection, and a whole bunch of other technical things that generally equate to awful purdy really struck a chord with that picture.

    Also, of course, happy birthday!!

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