Friday, May 9, 2008

The Nature People

Running through the forest. I am fortunate enough to have a old growth redwood forest next to my house. I get to throw on my running shoes and fly through the big trees that most folks have to travel far to see. Today we met the nature people. We were trying to find a new trail, (you can't be lost if you have no destination, so no, we weren't lost) and ended up running into a small man-made pond in the middle of a clearing. On the periphery of the pond were ducks, beautiful with the late afternoon sun glinting off of their backs. In the middle of the pond was a large clump of rushes. Amongst the rushes were little black birds with red patches on their wings. We had ended up at the back side of the steam train yard adjacent to the edge of the forest. There were a couple of people a little farther on. The woman was using binoculars to look at something in the general vicinity of her feet. The man was photographing the same general area. Already in the spirit of adventure, we snuck up quietly to see what they were looking at. We assumed that they had indeed, seen their shoes before. K. It was the biggest, fattest bull frog, ever. Just sitting there, looking like a log, except for it's big shiny eyeballs. You can't be as excited because you can't see it. You can only read about it. Trust me it was exciting.

The woman had a forest green parka on, salt and pepper hair, and a winning smile. She was a nature person. I love nature people and aspire to be one when I grow up. You can generally identify them by their relaxed, peaceful, curious-about-the-world attitude and sensible shoes. I am in nature a lot but I can't be considered a nature person until I can remember the names of more nature things so I might never get there. We were very excited about the bull frog and the presence of a fountain of nature knowledge in the form of our new friends.

We asked them about the pretty black birds with the red wings - what they were called. The woman asked us if we meant (and she paused here) the red-winged-black-birds? I have long since gotten over my embarrassment of not knowing things that might seem obvious. The woman looked a little nervous, clearly people who do not know a black bird can't be trusted. She tentatively asked us where we were from. (As you know, I live across the street.) I think they liked us though, even though they might have thought we were a bit touched in the head.


  1. Nice writing! I enjoyed the part about having a nice fancy ribbon to mark your bag. Nice photos too :)

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