When life gets crazy, confusing, stressful, or I need some time to think a problem through, there's always one place that I go, and that is the neighbor's property. The 98 acres, as we've called it for the last 6.5 years. That wild patch of land has become my haven and my world. A small world, perhaps, but mine nevertheless. I'm the type of person who needs small. And simple. And quiet.
It's often a daily occurrence to head up to the 98 acres these days... I whistle for Gyp and the two of us head out. Most days we go up to run and burn energy, but then other days we'll just go to seek solitude.
Yesterday, while walking through familiar paths and forests, I decided that I wanted share my world with y'all. :)
Walking up the first big hill is a good warm up for anyone, and it's the same hill that I sprinted yesterday while catching sheep. Gyp loves this hill, but I prefer what comes directly after it...
A small oak glen. Shaded. Sheltered. The grasses growing along the path are up to my shoulders. Gyp follows in my wake where I've stomped the grass down.
|The oak glen|
When you leave the glen, you find yourself in what I call the "sheep field". No, there aren't actually any sheep here. Yet. But there's a sheep barn in this field (hiding beneath blackberries), and there used to be sheep here some 60 years ago. So with that history in mind, I call this area the "sheep field". (and for the record, my sheep are down in the "front field" which is called that because it's in "front" of our house. Hehe.)
I love the sheep field. It's my favorite spot on the whole parcel. Gyp and I have a spot on this hill top where we like to sit and watch the world go by. The view is also great, and I've watched more than one sunset from this perch.
|The sheep field.|
|Right hand view from the sheep field!|
The left hand view (pic below) is my favorite; I love those hills! As far as the eye can see, you've got hills.
|Left hand view!|
Continuing past the sheep field, you soon come to what is simply called the forest. It's an old growth forest, and some of the trees are impressive in size. It's a dark, shaded area, and it can often times be unnervingly quiet. The forest is an area that I appreciate for its lack of noise. I whisper things to Gyp, and that's enough. There's no need to say anything louder. I tread lightly so as not to make a sound with my boots. It's like walking into an old, abandoned church; it seems to have been forgotten by all, but the feeling of stillness and hushed reverence still remains, though it may only be a fleeting memory.
The welcome into the forest changes with the seasons; back in April and May the front of the forest was screaming with yellow scotch broom and the sight made me smile. It looked so cheery. :) Now that we're in June/July, the scotch broom as been replaced by daisies. Lots of daisies... I can't stand their smell, but I adore their cheerful look that is so similar to a sunflower.
|Front of the forest with daisies to welcome you!|
Over the years, the deer have worn down a path in the clay soil, making for a way to walk through the forest in complete silence. Well, until autumn that is, and then there's no such thing as silence what with all those oak leaves... Hehe.
Getting deeper into the forest, things get darker, quieter, greener, and older. It feels like something out of Tolkien's books; you half expect an Ent to slowly wake up as you walk past.
The deer trail eventually dies off; it can't compete with the shade loving plants that tenaciously grow everywhere. Without the trail, you simply follow the path created by a lack of trees.
If you walk far enough then you'll eventually come to the Christmas tree field (well, that's what it started out as, many years ago. Now the trees are huge), and that's where I turn around and tell Gyp "Home". With that one word he whips around and starts running back the way we came. Most of the time I run with him, but yesterday I decided to take my time.
Coming out of the forest is always a slight shock. There's suddenly noise, light, and movement. It's like coming out of a time warp. The view from outside the forest is nice too though. :) Especially during a good sunset.
|View from outside the forest|
From the moment you leave the forest, it's all downhill to home and it's a blast to run. Gyp usually ends up tripping over his feet and then skids to a tumbled heap during this part of the run. I always laugh at him.
|Another view from the sheep field|
This last pic is of the downhill stretch to home, and it's what I was running up and down through yesterday.
I haven't shown y'all ALL of the 98 acres, as I didn't have time to get it all, but this would be my favorite haunt through it. There's still the marshes, the cow barn, the far field, the field leading to the spring... It's a big piece of land.
But this is my world. It's big enough for me. Big enough for me and my dog...