Last Saturday K and I broke from the regular weekend routine, and took Stella to Lake Shelly for our morning stroll. Since our move I’ve been walking Stella on various routes in and around our neighborhood. With so much territory to get to know, it seemed unnecessary to drive to one of the little lakes in the area for our constitutional as I used to do so often last year with Grover. But I had forgotten how nice it is to be out and about in these concentrated areas of woodland.
We hatched a plan to drive out to Durham this weekend, and check out one of the trails along the nearby Eno River.
And so, yesterday morning we cajoled/bullied Stella into the car where she took up her customary position huddled in the gap between the front and back seat, head as low to the floor as possible.
Our first stop in Durham was Gugelhopf Bakery, for some morsels to sustain us (I had a phenomenal apple cheese danish, K had their version of a cinnamon swirl).
Then on to the Eastern Trails at the state park. K had done a little research and chose the Bobbitt Hole trail, which follows the river bank and then cuts up through the forest in an elongated loop. I just liked the name.
We started on the northern stretch which winds through the forest, dark but dappled with bright spots of sun.
Though I generally have a less than sanguine attitude (especially as compared to my sister’s sweet and poetic musings) to autumn, it being the precursor to falling temperatures, it’s hard not to appreciate it’s pensive beauty. Like my sister, I saw the signs of fall’s arrival: the fiery red of fallen leaves, grasses gone to seed. And, oh! The mushrooms. I’ve been documenting my growing obsession with fungi here and here, and there was no shortage of cool varieties on display just steps off the path.
K and Stella moved ahead of me as I snapped pics, reveling in that moment of intense, silent concentration just before the image is captured. Abruptly they stopped, K drawing the leash shorter, and in front of them a thin snake moved away across the trail.
And not five minutes later, a repeat of the same, this time for a tiny frog.
At this point we had been moving gradually downhill, soon we emerged from the trees, and a green and sleepy river stretched out in front of us.
K, ever eagle eyed, spied the turtles that sunned themselves on any available branch. Startled by Stella’s movement and the click of the camera, I had to try several times before I was able to get a somewhat fuzzy shot of them:
We followed the river east, on the southern leg of the loop, the tree cover thinner here allowing more sunlight through.
We arrived back at the parking lot at just past noon (though secretly I could have kept going for a few more hours) perfect timing for more eating, so we swung by Broad Street Cafe for some crispy wood fired pizza.
Loaded back into the car, Stella braved the back seat, her eyes drooping as she fought sleep.
Great food, a pretty day, a walk in the woods, good company = one happy and contented girl.