• Susan Fleming Morgans

Enchanted forest; imaginary friends

Updated: Nov 9, 2019







What’s more restorative than a trek through the woods with a good companion, human or canine, on a sunny fall day? (Or maybe you prefer going solo, an escape from people and projects that conspire to keep you indoors.) In any case, a walk in crisp November weather when you don’t need more than a fleece pullover and light boots to stay warm and dry is a treat that won’t be repeated until spongy green grass replaces fall’s crunchy ground cover and trees sprout new growth to fill in the patches of blue sky autumn’s falling leaves reveal.


My favorite place to walk, usually with my German shepherd, is Bird Park, a “passive park” left largely in its natural state and intended for relatively peaceful activities such as dog walking, bird watching or mushroom foraging, rather than pickup sports, playground activities and other active pursuits. Several nice, easy trails wind through the acreage, thanks to the municipality and the efforts of Scouts and conservancy volunteers. Rustic steps, railings and gravel on the paths help people negotiate the steeper slopes (which aren’t very steep). Best of all, the trees that have died a natural death have been felled but not removed, and if they fall and block a trail, the path is cleared for safe, easy passage.


As I walk, I typically stop to gaze up at the bright blue sky peeping through fall's calico canopy of orange, magenta, rust and green. Seeking a chance of pace, though, for the past couple of weeks, I have forced myself to look down, and have had fun getting to know the many intriguing tree stumps that populate the undergrowth. Admittedly, I have an overactive imagination, but these hollow, lonely remnants of oaks, locusts, elms and maples have become my walking companions—and my dog doesn’t mind when I stop to say hello and take their pictures.


Here are a few of my new friends—some happy, some sad, all a little odd. You might see something (or someone) entirely different in the stumps, if you stroll through Bird Park. Or try looking at your surroundings from a different vantage point, wherever you love to walk. Hurry up, though. Winter is coming. Get out and enjoy November.


Here are a few of my Bird Park friends—what do they look like to you?


1. Laughing whale...


2. Big frog, little frog...



3. Sputnik (or maybe a Viking)...




4. Clawing hand...



5. Yawning alligator...



6. Conquered Castle...




7. Wayfarer resting with a dog at his feet...



8. Cowardly lion...



9. Birds in flight...



10. Watchdog...




12. Heroic World War I Horse


If you see something different, post your comment!


Whether you look up or down, enjoy the last days of fall with a walk in your favorite woods!



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