I had a wonderful walk this morning. I’m afraid I didn’t bring my camera along, so all I have to share with you is this picture I took of my muddy boots when I got home.
Parking near the bottom of a small hill adjacent to McInnis Park Golf Course I hiked to top in time to see the sunrise. I also saw dozens of snails all along the trail including a tiny one that would have fit on my pinky fingernail. The sunlight made it look almost translucent.
I started thinking about the sex life of snails (interesting what one thinks about on a solitary walk) and realized how little I know about them. With research I’ve learned they are hermaphrodites, which means they have both male and female reproductive organs, and when they mate, they each fertilize the others eggs.
Anyway, back to my walk…coming down the trail from the hill, I took a path along a levee through a salt marsh. I saw many different kinds of birds and enjoyed their songs as I walked. I recognized mallards, Canadian geese, egrets with their black leggings and bright yellow boots, red-winged blackbirds, quail, and near the end of the walk a beautiful blue heron.
The marsh had patches of mist hovering over it, rising off the small creeks that laced the landscape. The path I was on overlooked a creek and suddenly I noticed three racoons, frozen in place, almost hidden on the steep, plant-covered bank. They looked like images you would find in a children’s “find the hidden animals” picture. Two were at the water line and when I looked back, I could see one swimming away.
The trail turned so I was parallel with San Pablo Bay though it was way across mudflats to the water. The sunlight illuminated silver-beaded spider webs strung on dry red-brown stalks. Even though I could hear some faint traffic noise in the distance, my own footsteps and the constant chatter and song of birds was louder.
My path circled back towards the golf course. Mt. Tam was ahead and to the left and I could see the distinctive blue roof and gold spire of the Marin County Civic Center, where I was heading next for the Sunday morning Farmer’s Market. When I got back to my car, I checked my Fitbit and saw I’d walked just under 3.5 miles, a good start to the steps for the day.
This walk reminded me of some of the things I really value about getting outdoors early in the morning. Although I find it convenient to work out at a gym three mornings a week, I like to take a short walk outside before I head home. This adds steps to my days total but it is also different than walking on the treadmill in front of the TV.
The first thing I really love in the early morning is bird song. I walk up the stairs in one of two downtown parking garages to get some uphill flights into my workout. The larger garage has several trees right next to it and every morning the branches are full of birds singing away. Several times I’ve seen a bird singing in the stairwell and it’s song is amplified so it echoes through the whole building. Once a bird (the same bird?) was singing next to a pipe that came through a hole in the floor and rose up through the ceiling – the hole for the pipe allowed the birdsong to carry though the garage. I feel sure the bird or birds chose to sing where his or her song was magnified in this way.
When I reach the top floor of the garage, I see the next thing I enjoy early in the day: the sky. It is getting a little lighter as the days lengthen. On Friday it was a rich purple blue color. Other times I’ve enjoyed beautiful clouds. This picture was taken last summer.
The last thing? Oh, the last thing is just that it’s good for me!
Thanks for your visit.