Day Three Hundred Sixty-four

Yes! One More Walk Outside!

I’m afraid the worst is yet to come, because it really wasn’t that bad today after all. The sun was out and the wind calm while I filled my bird-feeders this afternoon, so I decided to go walking in the neighborhood instead of spending my penultimate resolution walk of 2013 on a treadmill.

It was cold, but not the bone-chilling temperature that the weather forecasters promised–at least not yet. I enjoyed my walk to the bank and around the neighborhood. Although I had my camera with me, nothing of interest really happened along the way.

Upon returning home, I could tell that the birds were enjoying all the new seed that I put out, so I sneaked around back and took a few pictures. The nuthatches seemed especially distracted by the seeds, and one was quite tame.

NuthatchGood day! But, any day that you can use the word “penultimate” is a good day, right?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy

Joy on the Trail

Joy!

When I read The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge this week, I pictured walking behind my son when we first set out on a quiet trail. As I’ve written before, this daily walk resolution of mine has been such a blessing: we’ve found something enjoyable that we can do with our youngest son, fourteen and on the autism spectrum.

He is so happy to be outside walking that he often takes off skipping for the first few hundred yards. He eventually slows down and we catch up, but I loved to capture those first joyful steps throughout this year of walking.

It is this joy that will keep us walking beyond 2013.

My son, joyfully swinging off in the distance, while I continued walking the loop at a local park in July.

Day Three Hundred Sixty-three

IMG_2577

Icy!

We’ve known for days that a cold front was coming today. If we left early enough, we thought we’d be able to take a walk before the weather changed. We didn’t quite make it though. Freezing mist and icy trails kept us from actually doing much walking.

We still had a really nice outing.

We headed to a Cook County Forest Preserve, Bemis Woods, near Western Springs, Illinois, to walk on the paved Red/Salt Creek Trail. I walked on a portion of this trail back on Day 336, but north and west of Bemis Woods, in DuPage County.

When we arrived at the preserve, we figured out very quickly that yesterday’s melting snow was definitely refreezing. It was really slippery, and we didn’t get very far on the trail. Instead, we walked around the long drive and the parking lot for a bit, but decided even that was too slippery. So, we headed for Oak Brook Center (a large shopping center) to get lunch!

On the way, we stopped at Graue Mill and Museum, operated by the DuPage County Forest Preserve. Graue Mill was a stop on the Underground Railroad and is still an operating mill and museum. The mill and museum are closed for the season, but we took a look around anyhow. It was slippery here too, so I should say we gingerly took a look around.

Graue MillThe quickly moving Salt Creek runs next to the mill. Some mallards, after riding in the current, came right up to the edge of the water as we walked by. We saw a mature great blue heron in the creek as well.

Graue Mill BirdsBoth Bemis Woods and Graue Mill look like great places to walk when the weather gets warmer! I’ll have to keep them in mind for next spring or summer.

With the weather that’s in the forecast for the next few days, today’s walk was likely my last one outdoors in 2013!

Day Three Hundred Sixty-two

Winter Takes a Welcome Break

We had a second consecutive day of unusually warm temperatures and bright sun today. Thank goodness too; we needed it after the cold, harsh winter we’ve had so far this year.

I did have a little trouble deciding where to walk. We didn’t have a big block of time, so we couldn’t travel far. Also, I did not need another fall this week so I wanted to avoid slushy, slippery snow-covered trails; I needed a plowed paved trail. I chose to go back to Frankfort Square’s Island Prairie and Indian Boundary Park. My husband, daughter, and youngest son joined me.

Island Prairie and Indian Boundary Park

I really like this neighborhood park (and not only because it’s plowed). It has a small lake and wetlands with a boardwalk through it. I’ve seen numerous birds each time I’ve visited. Today was no exception.

Indian Boundary Songbirds1I especially enjoyed the two hawks that circled for about half the time we were walking. When one flew directly overhead, I was glad I had my camera ready, because this hawk put on a show.

IMG_2541We had such a nice walk today. I am so thankful to have had such a beautiful day for one of the final walks of my 2013 resolution.

Day Three Hundred Sixty-one

Great Day!

Today’s weather was a welcome respite from our early, harsh winter, and we took advantage of it. After making a holiday exchange at the mall, my youngest son and I walked at nearby Lake Sedgewick and Centennial Park in Orland Park, Illinois.

We were not the only ones out and about. We saw walkers, bikers, and many ice skaters at the outdoor rink.

Lake Sedgewick and Centennial ParkWe also had a hawk fly-over. What a graceful flyer!

Centennial Hawk

I only have a few days left to finish off my 2013 resolution! It was great to walk outdoors today. Both my son and I really enjoyed ourselves.

Day Three Hundred Sixty

My family forbade me from walking outside today.

After my icy wipe-out on Day 359, my wrist was still pretty sore, so I acquiesced to my family’s wishes and headed up to our park district health club for a walk on a treadmill instead.

I saw a number of people that I haven’t seen for awhile, and it was good to say hello. But we were all there to work out, and work out we did.

Good walking (even if it was on a treadmill)!

Day Three Hundred Fifty-nine

Black Ice and Taking a Break from a Raucous Good Time

I woke early this Christmas morning and figured I should head out for a walk in the event that the day’s festivities would prevent me from walking later. It didn’t, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

Boy, is my neighborhood quiet on Christmas morning at 6:45! We had gotten a dusting of fresh snow overnight, and the only footprints that I saw were the squirrels’, the rabbits’, and mine. I saw a car drive by on a distant cross-street, but otherwise had the entire outdoors to myself.

I was really enjoying myself until I felt my feet go out from under me on some black ice and found myself sprawled on the sidewalk. Ouch!

I got up, brushed myself off, and continued my walk. By the time I got home though, I realized that my left wrist was awfully sore. I determined that it didn’t hurt enough to be broken and went on with my Christmas. (I got enough sympathy from my husband that he volunteered to peel potatoes for the side dish that I was bringing to my in-laws’ for dinner.)

Later in the afternoon, I went for another walk with my youngest son, who’s 14 and has autism spectrum disorder. We headed out in the woods behind my mother-in-law’s home. It was nice to take a break in the middle of a long visit that got a little loud for him. I’m glad we brought our boots along!

As for my wrist, I’ll keep monitoring it, but I think it’ll be okay. And to think that I had almost made it the whole year without a fall!