Turkey Tracks: October 7 , 2018
Take A Walk in the Woods With Me
I am so lucky here in Maine to have access to gorgeous “wellness” and other woods paths where one can take one’s dogs and walk them off-leash, providing they are well behaved and that any waste is picked up. Even having to walk a dog on leash is better than village streets and sidewalks. There is so much more for everyone to see, and a dog like Slaty can really work out his kinks.
Here’s the start of one such trail.
To walk a dog free of a leash, the dog must come when called. Every time. Slaty does, thanks to the training method I learned years ago: Peter Loeb’s SMARTER THAN YOU THINK.
The woods are beginning to show the advent of fall. The ferns are all turning color now, and some of the trees are as well.
The woods are becoming a fairy land of gold, orange, and red.
While No No Penny and I stick to the path, Slaty is making big circles out to our right or left, running at full bore through the woods, underbrush, and over rocks. He often finishes a circuit by coming up behind us on the path at full speed.
I can see him up ahead of us, but sometimes I lose him in the dappled shadows of the woods. “Slaty where are you?” Always makes him pop back on the path so I can see him.
The underbrush can be dense in our woods.
At times he waits for us in the bends of the path. He always knows exactly where we are.
After some recent rain, the woods are full of brightly colored mushrooms. Here are pictures of the yellow Amanita muscaria, whose common name is Fly Agaric. Yes, it is poisonous, but it is so pretty. As it ages, it turns deep orange near the center. It often has sort of scaly patches over the cap, remants of a covering (voluval) when it begins to emerge from the soil. I saw patches of 40 or more in these woods.
Here mushrooms work to degrade a rotting tree. This particular kind of shelf mushroom is not poisonous, but not really edible. Some are, though, like the delicious Chicken of the Woods and Oyster mushrooms.
A spur of the path crosses a stream:
This huge old beauty is on the down-hill swing:
And now Slaty comes, even when he’s tired.
This path, with its spur, is about 2 miles. It’s a joyful gift.