Tag Archives: mothers day

A Memorable Walk

Our blogging group settled on a favorite walk for our latest topic. I could not think of a favorite, but I did remember a memorable one.

As much as I claim to love the out-of-doors I am a homebody and tend to stay inside much more than is good for me. Dean likes going out and doing things so he was pleasantly surprised when, eleven years ago, I requested a family hike on the Trillium Trail at the G R Thompson Wildlife Management Area in the Shenandoah Valley for my Mother’s Day gift.

I’d not heard of trilliums until high school when, for my birthday, my friend Cindy gave me a green suede choker with a single white trillium on the front. I’d not seen one in person, until college when my botany 101 professor, Mr. Steinboch, took us on a field trip to a local park. The next time I saw them was in Pittsburgh when a friend and I visited the Trillium trail there (now a subdivision). I was ready to see more trilliums.

We were going to have to get up early to get to the trail and hike before we ate lunch. A small roadblock was the fact that Clare was spending the night with some friends. We warned her that we were stopping by early to pick her up. Andrew was fine with everything, as far as I recall — he always made sure any special day (Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays) were special for the person being celebrated.

The morning of the walk we got up early, ate breakfast and picked up Clare. She was unhappy about having to get up early and very grumpy. We let her sleep in the car. When we got to the park she continued her grumpiness, but Andrew was energetic and happy so that was good.

The hike was beautiful and those of us who’d had a decent sleep were good. I saw trilliums, skunk cabbage, lady slippers, May apples and even an eastern towhee or two.

We had a mid-morning snack on a rock, Andrew rested on a branch, Dean took one of my favorite photos ever of me. Clare continued to be grumpy.

I don’t remember if I was upset that Clare was grumpy the entire day. I probably was and I might be to this day except for one thing — years later she explained to me why she was grumpy all day and apologized for it. The night before she’d been drinking with her friends (apparently the parents were okay with it) and the next day she had her first hangover. While I don’t condone her drinking at age 17, I understand why she was grumpy and realized that she was doing her best to make my day a happy one just by being there.

Hungry Hawk — Lucky doves

We had a nice and lazy Mother’s Day yesterday and because I was still getting over my loss of sleep from Friday, thought I’d take a little nap. I didn’t get to sleep, however, because shortly after lying down, I heard a bird call from the backyard I don’t hear a whole lot. I thought about what it could be, then remembered — oh yeah, blue jay.

Ok, so blue jays are not that exciting, but I figured I’d go take a look anyway. They are always fun to watch. I walked downstairs to the windows that overlook the back yard and was surprised to see a medium sized hawk with black stripes on its tail sitting on the top of our trampoline net. Then I saw, on the floor of the trampoline, three agitated mourning doves. They’d try to fly up to escape, and the hawk would dive at them, and then fly up to the opposite side of the trampoline. Whenever the hawk moved, a pair of blue jays would dive at the hawk, scolding all the while, from branches above the trampoline. This happened several times and I wondered if I should go save the doves because it looked dire for them. If my camera had been handy I would have snapped a photo or two or taken a movie, because this was so weird, but before I could grab my camera, the hawk flew away to another yard. I guess the blue jays were too much for it.

The mourning doves were either exhausted or too scared to fly well, because they couldn’t seem to fly out of the enclosure. Either that or they might need a longer runway to become airborne than the trampoline offered. Clare, Andrew and I went out and opened the flap of the trampoline net and the doves calmly walked out of the enclosure and flew away.