Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Enchanted hike

As I have mentioned, the best part about Florian's Sunday Nutcracker rehearsals in Great Falls is that the studio is near the Potomac and its vast network of trails. 

This past weekend's excursion was on a spooky, cloudy day when barely anyone else was out and about. 

Though I miss the amazing fall foliage, I find the combination of the clouds, 

 the spooky rocks, 

the few yellow leaves clinging to branches, and the dark water to be mysterious and beautiful. 

There is so much to marvel at in nature, at any time of year. Early in our relationship, it seemed Florian and I saw herons everywhere we went. It seemed somehow auspicious to me that they appeared for us so often, and it still does. 

Beavers are also symbolic for me, in a joyful way. A symbol of homemaking.  

Though thought of as pests and still killed by the thousands by Wildlife Services, the euphemistically-named office in the U.S. Department of Agriculture that kills wildlife at the behest of commercial interests, beavers are keystone species that create habitat for other species and are a foundation for entire ecosystems.

For our own part, I was glad that we could come into their ecosystem without disturbing them too much, a feat made easier by the fact that we left our own landscape architect--Fozzie--at home. 

Fozzie and Sandy have been getting into little--and a few not-so-little--scrappies lately, and given the possibility that the dogs would have to stay in the van for a bit while we were in the dance studio, I didn't want to chance leaving the scrappy pit bulls alone. 

There's also the fact that much as I adore Fozzie, walks are a tad more peaceful, easier, more relaxing without a certain little avid hunter along. 

Of course I felt guilty leaving him all alone while we went off on a fun hike, but after the last scrappy Fozzie was left limping and Sandy with crusty scabs on her neck so I didn't think the guy would mind one day of rest.

Sandy and Lamar are not the easiest dogs either, by any means, but Sandy, by virtue of her teeny tiny pocket pit bull size and her attentiveness when she hears her name, and Lamar, by virtue of his senior citizen status, both just strike me as almost impossibly easy to manage after two years of managing 65 pounds of lunging muscle in the form of a certain brindle beast. 

So I won't feel too guilty about this one hike with the "easy" dogs and my little ballerino, along with our friends the beavers, the herons, and yet another undiscovered place along the Potomac. 


  1. I totally agree - Nature gives us beauty during every season. Beautiful hike you all took!

  2. These pictures are magnificent. And I know you guys must have really enjoyed your hike. This time of year we can really enjoy nature, it is not too hot, and we are allowed to stand and marvel at things in the wilderness. I agree with you and how beavers are special creatures. Keep up the good work, and thanks for sharing the pictures.

    Come check out Tripps blog, at www.hatethedeed.blogspot.com

    Kimberley and Tripp (Pit Bull)

  3. I love just getting out and enjoying nature with my pups. I could never leave either one of them home, Sampson because he would be so sad and he would pout for days, and Delilah well....because she would be so heartbroken and more than likely would become destructive.

    Glad you are getting some time out to enjoy the beauty of the area.

  4. This looks like a wonderful hike! We'll be visiting some friends on Saturday and were looking for a place in the MoCo area to hike... where is this? I think we may need to visit!

  5. Let's see...Pittiefullove, we got there off route 193 through Great Falls, VA. Look for River Bend State Park or Great Falls Park--you can get to them off River Bend Road just before "downtown" Great Falls.

    But really you can't go wrong anywhere along the Potomac--the trails are endless. In Maryland, you can get to it easily off MacArthur Blvd near the town of Potomac.

  6. What a gorgeous hike! It's seeing things like this that I realize how much Chicago doesn't have...I don't think we have anything nearby that could compare.

  7. What a great post! I felt like I was along with you on your hike. But ooh, it does look like a scary place -- my mommy probably wouldn't ever go there (scaredy cat!). But she loves beavers! :)

    Woofs & hugs, <3

    ~Bailey (Yep, I'm a girl!)

  8. Beautiful scenery! Looks like a great walk!

  9. What a lovely place for a hike! I'm pining for us to get back out on the trails. I've been struggling with the balance between keeping Blueberry happy and leaving her at home alone while the rest of us go out.

  10. i kind of miss hiking like that in the cold. it's just not the same with palm trees!

  11. What a great place for a peaceful hike
    Benny & Lily

  12. A most enchanting hike indeed! Fun seeing the beaver tree. Such wonderful creatures they are :D

    Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving! :D

    Waggin at ya,


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