Saturday, April 17, 2010

Daphne Hikes Beebe Hill, Part 2

It was Easter Sunday and I'd owned Daphne, my little Papillon puppy, for less than a week. But she was so smart and well behaved that I included her on our hike up Beebe Hill. She was a natural - happy, lively and attentive. The weather was a bit chilly when we first began but warmed quickly:

I allow the dogs to run ahead and, in fact, prefer that they be ahead of me instead of behind so I can keep my eye on them. But I set a distance limit and will call out and stop them in their tracks if I think they're getting too far ahead. In this photo, they're not as distant as it appears, though I'm sure I've told them that's far enough:

Daphne ran in circles as well as back and forth between me and the other three dogs. Wally wasn't exactly lively, but he was happy to be out with us and mostly kept up:

I saw these large nut hulls in the leaf litter and began looking around to see what tree they might have come from:

There it was, right next to me - a Hickory, though I can't tell you which species. In fact, there were Hickory trees all around us. I might not have noticed if it were not for the nut hulls:

The trail began ascending more steeply. You can see what a glorious day this was. The larger tree on the left side of the trail was a Red Oak, so I looked in the leaf litter for acorns:

And the acorns were all over, in fact underneath my feet. It must not have been a very bad winter for many remained uneaten:

And on we hiked. I love this photo of happy dogs trotting upwards past the Oak, Hickory and Birch trees toward the blue sky. This is why I hike:

Around a bend and there before us was the caretaker's cabin and the fire tower:

We picked up our pace as we approached the tower. The dogs had no concept of what it was, but I suppose they picked up on my excitement:


And a brief video of the dogs hiking. It's only 17 seconds long but, I think, vividly demonstrates the beauty and joy of the day:

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