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Walking on May 3

Mileage:  2 miles around Maple Avenue Lake and the Wetland Trail at Hawthorne Park.  Total mileage for the day:  4.6.

The path up to the lake is bordered by blooming honeysuckle:

After a solid weekend of rain, the skies cleared on Monday, so the trip around Maple Avenue Lake was particularly pleasant.  I passed several fishermen.  God, I hope they don’t eat what they catch . . .

The fishing theme was reinforced when I got to the other side of the lake.  In the trash bin was the empty package for a Barbie fishing rod and reel.  I can just imagine the pink, sparkled rod and reel that helped a little girl and her patient dad share the joy!

The route around the lake offers different fauna than the Wetlands route.  In fact, I see a lot more turtles at the lake than I do at the wetland.  They prefer the dead trees half submerged, like the tree pictured below.  The turtle breeds are various–painted, snapping, etc.–but they line up on the log and sun themselves with equanimity.  And when I get too close, they roll off.  Sometimes all I know of their presence is the watery plop of each one as they fall in.

I did get to see a box turtle today.  This one was incredibly patient and posed for his picture.  This was my second sighting of a box turtle today.  As I drove to work around 7:30, I passed a box turtle who was crossing Highway 46 in the lane opposite to mine.  I am always tempted to stop the car and run back to ferry a box turtle across the road.  I can do this on my country road without too much concern, but attempting turtle rescue on Highway 46 could be a risky for me as it is for the turtle.

Not all the fauna at the lake is natural and untamed.  I met up with Mickey, the German pointer dog who belongs to a friend.  He is a runner, very athletic, and a swimmer too.  When we met up, he let me pet him, and I earned a damp hand for my trouble.

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Walking mileage:  2.79 around the wetland, 5+ miles total for the 29th (mileage boosted by walking the golf course).

New route:  around the perimeter of the Hawthorne Park Wetland:

I also took along a better camera than the one on my Blackberry.  Even with better equipment, however, I couldn’t get good shots of the birds and other fauna I encountered which included a pin-tail duck, a kingfisher, geese with goslings, mallards, and redwing blackbirds.  The blackbirds enjoy perching on the spent cattails:

The mallards, male and female, swam off in the small swamp that is adjacent to the wetland:

I also sighted a beaver, swimming with all his might with a twig in his teeth.  Again, poor camera equipment meant that his picture wasn’t really worth publishing.

On Friday, I took the day off from Rose-Hulman and spent my day at home trying to get the wilderness at Lobster Creek under control.  It seems that digging, weeding, and mowing can earn you 4+ miles, which means I am keeping my mileage up. 

 The plan for the weekend is to do a longer walk, either at McCormick’s Creek State Park or out on our country road to Highway 46 and back, 8+ miles.  Let’s see how the weather holds.

Walking on April 28th

I ended yesterday, April 27th, with 5.0+ miles, a result of walking both at my 11:00 appointed time and walking the golf course when we played at Pine Woods around 6:30.  That is about half of what we can expect to walk on the tour this summer.  Right, time to build up mileage and endurance.

Today I went to Indianapolis to interview for the Mira Award, and I lost my appointed 11:00 hour.  The pedometer reads 2.78 miles, not bad since I spent a good bit of day in the car driving from Spencer, to Indy, to Terre Haute, and back to Spencer.  Not to worry–11:00 is on my Outlook calendar tomorrow, and nothing will stop me.

Perhaps it is time to discuss the reading list.  The plan is to read extensively in region-appropriate fiction, and that has to mean Brontes!  Woo hoo!  Unfortunately I took a weird Bronte route for my first reading report.  I am reading Vilette by Charlotte Bronte.  Don’t get me wrong.  Charlotte is far and away the best Bronte going, but Vilette isn’t set in the Yorkshire Dales, but in France, where Lucy Snow works as an English teacher for over-priviledged girls in a boarding school.  Needless to say, the frequent French quotes, not accompanied with translations, make the work slow-going.  But the region-appropriate rule applies to the origin of the author, rather than the subject of the fiction.

Vilette was on my Ph.D. list way back in 1990 at Emory.  At this point I can’t remember a damn thing about this book, so I look upon the Walking Project as the perfect time to reacquaint myself with Charlotte Bronte, Lucy Snow, and Ginevra Fanshawe.

Walking on April 27

Walking today:  2.48 miles in 1 hour

Route:  Hawthorne Park, around the lake then down to the wetland

I’ve included two photos from the route.  The wetlands pictures should be accompanied by the sound of honking geese.  This area is used as a nesting and migration spot for lots of different species.

Here’s the project:

Take a 7 day walking trip across England from the Yorkshire Dales to the Lake District, July 2010. Prepare for the trip by building up walking endurance every day (or just about) from now, April 26, until July. Read region-appropriate literature (Brontes, Wordsworth, Peace).

So in order to start, I have to, want to, walk.  Today I did 1/2 hour through Hawthorne Park, which is located adjacent to my college’s campus.

26 April 2010