There's this magical path in the woods behind my parents' house that I love to walk. It's carved like a tunnel through the trees and undergrowth. Fifty years ago it used to be a regular road for cars to drive on, but newer roads got built and this one went unused and the forest eventually claimed it again.
Some of my best memories with my dad are of us in the woods when he would point out the secrets that they had to tell; animal tracks, owl pellets, the way the lichen grew on the trees, sharp and tasty wintergreen buried beneath the leaves. It's fun to see my dad teaching Sam those same things.
Off to one side of the path is a series of ponds all tangled up in trees and moss. My mom used to gather frog eggs here in the spring when she was a little girl (this is the house she grew up in) and watch them hatch in a jar.
To Sam their yard is expansive and huge. Actually, to me, now used to the -1/10th acre lot we're on in the city, it's looking pretty huge too! He loves racing through the crunchy leaves and collecting acorns. We found a stash of them at the base of a tree that had been nibbled, and even saw the squirrel that was the likely owner of the nibbled nuts!
My dad tucked these leaves into Sam's hat as a moose costume:)
Moss grows everywhere in Maine; the moist climate is perfect for it. I never understood why people didn't like moss growing on their lawn; I love it! Though, we tend to be less fanatical (or maybe lazy?) about our lawns in Maine. We mow it and that's about it. Whatever Mother Nature wants to grow there as long as it's green is okay by us. In the picture below all that green is moss beneath the oak tree; isn't it pretty?
It felt so good to be out in the clean, fresh Maine air, walking through the woods that seem quiet compared to the cacaphony of the city, yet have their own bright and varied symphony. In the woods here you can here each sound, separate and clear; there's a wood pecker in the swamp on the left, a car turning into a drive down the road, the snap of twigs as a small animal scurries through the brush, and your own footsteps sounding out clear and distinct.