Sitting on my porch this morning drinking coffee and reading Wordsworth I was lured to cast aside the plans for the day and go hiking in the break between the predicted thunderstorms. I decided to have an early lunch at Harold's in Florence and then head north along the River with the idea of going to Desoto Bend, but after my roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, and lemon meringue pie as I drove through the Ponca Hills listening to the birds sing, I decided to see how Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge was faring five years after the last catastrophic flood. 'Twas the correct choice. Or, more pertinently, I followed the proper lure for today's adventure.
After the morning's rain everything was sparkling in the newly emerged sunlight. Through the wetland meadows there were some sounds and smells that evoked childhood memories of walking with my parents--buzzing grasshoppers and the damp evaporating from the grasses. Soon I realized I had forgotten to bring along my bug spray.
Undeterred, I walked over four miles through meadows and newly emerging cottonwoods and old dying trees and along the banks of the Missouri River where geese were sleeping. Today I wished I was a birder who could identify the myriad species I saw and heard.
This is what a beginning of sabbatical needed--a day in sun and fresh air with birdsong and the smells of prairie grasses. Clearly a cliche, but rightly so.
After my hike I stopped at Zesto's for a vanilla ice cream cone dipped in chocolate.