Due to the heat and humidity here, Clancy and I took a break from our travels last weekend. As I've mentioned before, Clancy loathes the heat, and I am right there with him. I especially hate humidity, and get grouchy after about five minutes when I'm outside in it, so the thought of going out and exploring was not at all appealing.
We did decide to take a walk back to Embshoff Woods early Saturday morning though, so I thought I would write about our experience for the latest edition of our Travels. This expedition turned out to be appropriate, as one of my goals for this project is to learn to appreciate the beauty in my own backyard, and Embshoff is right down the street from where I live. It's as close to my backyard as I'm going to get.
Embshoff is part of the Hamilton County park district, and Clancy and I have walked there on a regular basis ever since Clancy came to live with me. It's not a large park, but the walk from our place through the park and back is about two miles, so it's a good distance for a walk.
Clancy and I set off down the street and, as you can see from the limp and motionless flag at the entrance to the park, there wasn't even a hint of a breeze in the air.
It was already sticky, so we were glad to get an early start. We got to the park not long after the sun had risen in the morning sky.
Clancy was delighted to see that his friend Seamus was also there for a walk. Seamus and his owner, a super nice guy named Lou, are regulars at the park like us, and we always enjoy seeing them. Clancy loves Lou because he carries homemade dog treats in his pocket, and Seamus doesn't mind sharing the treats with Clancy. I think Clancy would drop me in a New York minute if he thought he could go home with Lou and have regular access to those treats.
Seamus is about the same size and age as Clancy, so the two of them are a great match as playmates. I always find it funny to say their names together, as I think it sounds like I am talking about two old Irish gentlemen sitting together at a pub.
After a round of play, Clancy and Seamus were ready to go on their respective walks, so we bid Seamus and Lou goodbye and continued on our way.
There really isn't much to Embshoff, but one thing I love about it is the hilly landscape. Clancy loves to run up, down, and around on these hills.
The park is home to many different kinds of wildlife, including a variety of birds, as well as rabbits, deer, and coyotes. One morning, a large male deer came out of the bushes and stared at me as if he was challenging me to a duel. He was gorgeous, with antlers I would not want to mess with, and a stately demeanor that told me he was used to getting his way. I had no intention of challenging him, and he must have decided Clancy and I were no threat, as he disappeared back into the bushes as quickly as he had appeared. He was so graceful when he moved that he didn't move a single branch, and he almost seemed like a ghost.
I've always wished I had thought to bring my camera with me that day, but it goes without saying that I never seem to have my camera when I see the various animals in the woods. And when I do have my camera, the animals are scarce. This morning was no exception.
Clancy's favorite part of the park is this little trail that is perpetually shaded by a canopy of evergreen tree branches.
Because we walk in Embshoff year round, I have special affection for the evergreens. They are a welcome sight in the winter when everything else is dead and bare, and the cold is as biting as Saturday morning's heat was oppressive.
When Clancy and I turned around to head home, we ran into another friend, a maintenance man who works for the park district. We always see him driving around in an orange RTV utility vehicle, and he never fails to greet us with a wave and a smile.
We stopped to say hi when he had parked the RTV, and Clancy decided to try to jump in the vehicle. It seemed as if he thought maybe he could get a ride back home instead of having to walk. If you have read my blog from the beginning, you know that Clancy loves riding in the car, and I guess to him this utility vehicle seemed like the next best thing.
To Clancy's dismay, we didn't actually get a ride in the RTV. But we did have a great morning walking in the park and seeing our friends. I tried paying more attention to our surroundings as we walked, and took note of everything from the sound of a woodpecker hammering on a tree to the welcome shade that came courtesy of the evergreens.
The break from our Travels turned out to be a good thing, as it was a chance to develop a new appreciation for our home base. But I'm still hoping for a break in the heat soon, so we can venture a bit farther next time!