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Perfect Day

July 1st was a perfect day. In the morning I heard a pheasant call, and I saw a train go by. The air was fresh and bright; I could have walked forever.

So... later in the day I collected those who still remain in the wanderer's hut, and we wandered up to the Notch to hike to the horse caves... none of us could remember exactly how to get there, so first we walked what ended up being a little loop trail that took us back to the starting point--very twilight zone!

Then we got onto the right trail. At the beginning were lots of small saplings of American chestnut, still gamely trying to grow, though they never get to be more than about two or three inches in diameter before they're killed by chestnut blight. But there they were, anyway, with there pretty leaves (a picture is here at my Flickr account). Just think, a century ago, that hill would have been covered with mature chestnut trees, and think of all the nuts you could have harvested! But somehow the hill and all its residents have adapted.

Further up there were striped maples, whose seeds hang down like collections of paper cranes at a Japanese Buddhist temple or like Christmas tree decorations. You can't really see their charm from my photo, but it gives you some idea...

The walk was longer and steeper than we remembered, so when we reached the summit of the mountain, it was a wonderful relief. The breeze was beautiful, and there were some ripe wild blueberries, as well as some not-yet-ripe black raspberries and red raspberries. We ate some blueberries; there was a couple there with twin little girls, and that family had blueberies in their picnic sandwiches--what a great idea!

Here is the view from the top of the mountain, featuring the top of the healing angel's head in the lower left-hand corner:

The horse caves were only a little way further...

The walk back was mainly in silence as everyone was tired and thirsty ("we don't need to bring the water with us!" I gaily assured everyone at the start...WRONG!), but in that silence you could hear that the wind had picked up, really like the surf of the sky ocean, more audible for being closer to the sky? and then, best of all, a hermit thrush. I used to think the wood thrush's song was the most beautiful, but now my heart belongs to the hermit thrush--fickle,fickle! But I do also love the wood thrush (so inconstant!)

This morning too it's breezy; I love the breeze in summer; I love wearing shirts with no sleeves and shorts or skirts, and feeling the wind on my arms and my legs and my neck. I can sit here writing this, and the breeze comes in the open window, with a sound like the ocean, and makes me aware of its presence with the lightest touch.

Today is another lovely day.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 2nd, 2006 03:52 pm (UTC)
Yeah, you feel like an eagle or a god up there!
Jul. 2nd, 2006 02:14 pm (UTC)
The place where you live seems so lovely! I feel envious!

The last time my friends and I went hiking, it was in a place called Mukurthi, a lovely forest area in the hills near Ootacamund, in the south of India. Since I don't know how to link up Wikimapia or Google Earth Maps to LJ, I will try and do a complete Post on that place after I have done learning all that!

It must be so beautiful to live in the midst of nature. Imagine the wonder of being able to take off on a hike just like that on a good day! we had to travel overnight by train and then drive up the hills and beyond to get to this lovely place called Mukurthi! As I said, more on that later on my LJ!
Jul. 2nd, 2006 03:52 pm (UTC)
I look forward to that post!

It must be hard to live in a city--when I did, I was lucky enough to have an allotment garden. (This is where the town rents out small plots of land for a nominal price so that people can have vegetable or flower gardens.) But it's not the same as having countryside nearby.
Jul. 2nd, 2006 02:18 pm (UTC)
That one picture under the "top of the mountain" photo looks like it has a carving of a face. Am I mistaken? Profile with an eye and a nose. Hope I'm not crazy.
Jul. 2nd, 2006 02:22 pm (UTC)
I noticed that too! Can we be crazy together?
Jul. 2nd, 2006 03:46 pm (UTC)
I see what you mean! It's completely natural, though.
Jul. 2nd, 2006 02:23 pm (UTC)
What state are you in?? Do you live in the same state where these photos were taken?
Jul. 2nd, 2006 03:49 pm (UTC)
Yes--it's Massachusetts :-) Western Massachusetts--the hike we were on is a 20-minute drive from where we live, in a set of low mountains (high hills?) called the Holyoke Range.
Jul. 2nd, 2006 05:28 pm (UTC)
What a lovely place to live in...really nice...I have been to those areas - love those places. It's so beautiful in the fall especially...
And the warm breeze in the spring and summer after the cold winters there make it even more special...waiting all those months for that balmy breeze! have a great summer hiking away!
Jul. 2nd, 2006 07:21 pm (UTC)
You always have the loveliest posts! Someday I'll move to a place where I can hike into the mountains. I love walking randomly like that, but around here we have only a damn lot of concrete and subdivisions.
Jul. 2nd, 2006 09:36 pm (UTC)
In one of the Miyazaki movies, one which is translated as... Whisper of the Heart, the protagonist writes a city version of "Country Roads"; it's called "Concrete Roads"--it's good! (But it may only be that they do that in the Japanese version--in the Japanese version she's tried translating "Country Roads" into Japanese so she and her friends can sing it, and then in addition she's written "Concrete Roads"--because living in Tokyo, it's all concrete and subdivisions, too...
Jul. 2nd, 2006 11:25 pm (UTC)
To think I offered you help with taking pictures. seems like you've been playing with those settings. Beauties all of them. The pics that is.
Jul. 3rd, 2006 08:32 am (UTC)
Oh no--I still need that help! It was in this set of pictures that I produced some real horrors. I'll show you...
Jul. 3rd, 2006 06:46 am (UTC)
beautiful pictures, beautiful words...I love the cool blues and greens...wish I lived close to Nature like this...actually, I do...I just have to drive an hour to get into Bannerghatta National Park...but where I live is a concrete jungle, not very green.
Jul. 3rd, 2006 10:25 am (UTC)
Wonderful photos! I love the face in the rock and the boy in the rock. You have a beautiful place to hike. I LOVE trees.
Jul. 5th, 2006 05:56 am (UTC)
Oh what a nice post. It made my night (well morning now). I have not been able to walk lately really, and this post took me on a very pleasant journey of the mind. Thank you for sharing. It is so beautiful.
Jul. 7th, 2006 02:00 pm (UTC)

That is all.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )



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