Sunday, November 07, 2010

and another

It’s like shaking loose your very last drops of that precious olive oil – the one you use only on dishes where it will be noticed. So, too, I squeeze out the last hours of brilliant warm sunlight, but with some regret, because you know it's the very last drop. It's over and done with. I understand. It is the way seasons work.

But then I give it one more shake and out comes another day that is as glorious as if someone forgot that we are deep into November.

First thing’s first though. Sunday is condo cleaning day. I am grateful for that extra hour of time today (Fall back!) – because any time spent indoors feels tragically wasted.

By late morning, all is squeaky clean. Ed and I have a good bit of time left, though not much enthusiasm for a long car trip. And so we decide to hike a stretch of the Ice Age Trail that is just to the north of us (some twenty miles, as the car drives). It’s not a long trail segment – maybe six miles ( and then, of course, one must do it in reverse) – but it is truly a gorgeous little hike (although, really, I’ve not yet come across an Ice Age Trail segment that is disappointing).

So much variety! We pick up the trail as it crosses the main road leading into Lodi (the town just to our north)  and we follow it past the fields at the base of the hilly ridge.


And then, it’s a straight up climb. Past oaks and hardwoods, bare now, allowing the sun to shoot straight at you.


And then it’s one great view after another.

We plop down at the ridge, by fields of dry grasses and take in the spread of hilly land before us.



Ah, Wisconsin! To live this close to a trail that is so removed from any noise or unnecessary disturbance -- how heavenly is that!


I comment that I am beyond surprised that we have the trail basically to ourselves. It’s Sunday! Where is everyone? I think how in Poland, a walk in the country is everyone’s favorite weekend activity. Why isn’t it ours here?



We do encounter one jogger and later, two gentlemen out for a late stroll.  And some non-hikers as well: men with guns.


It’s not the deer hunting season now, but as I’ve said before, a fall hike in our state means that you will hear gunfire.

Most often we don’t actually come face to face with the hunters, but this time we do cross paths with two sets. The first, a father and son team, looks so pleased and beaming that I didn’t have to ask if they’d been successful. Still, I do ask, curious, too, what could possibly be carried off in a little plastic bag.


Squirrels, the dad tells me. He got them! Two shots, two squirrels!
The kid is proud as anything.
So what do you do with them?
Squirrel stew.
Of course.

The second set is a man and his dog. They are making their way through the prairie and they pause when they see us – you can’t help but stop anyone within earshot on a day like this.

Gorgeous, isn’t it?
Yes! Absolutely! Any luck with the hunt?
Not today. We’re hunting pheasant. Saw some last week. Not today...

And still, no one who is out could be disappointed. We grin broadly at each other, wave and move on...


... following the path now back down again.

The last of the glorious weekend days. Shake that bottle, shake shake, a couple of hours more, and then it’s gone. I don’t expect another for a while.  Yeah, I know we've been lucky. Good days aren't typically clumped together in this way. Yes, sure, I know that the rotten stuff is about to come down hard. (May I suggest a few more days of respite? Do your dirty work in December: it's expected then.) But these past weeks -- whoa, it's been grand!