Walking the Well Known Path

Swamp scene

Exploring new and different places excites the mind, makes connections between old and new knowledge, and forms better stories in the telling for friends. But, in everyday life we most often visit places and walk paths we already know.

Usually located closer to home, we walk the familiar path frequently. Sometimes we walk it with a goal in mind, other times we need to get outside and think and walk, and we head there almost instinctively. Sometimes several paths vie for the title. Some days only a walk along a deserted or near deserted beach will do, other times we crave the green, lush vegetation of a forest.

Even in the hot and steamy weather of August in central Florida, we walk a known path over a creek and through a swampy hardwood. The air seemed heavy, almost as though you could see it holding all the moisture. I knew we were the first along it that morning, I had the spider webbing on me to prove it. I nearly stepped on a coral snake, usually a rare sighting here, in the middle of the path while I looked up at a bird. This snake, unlike some of its venomous cousins here, would rather avoid humans and thankfully made off for a nearby bush to hide from me. I glimpsed it under the bush just long enough to recite the rhyme: “Red touch yellow-kills a fellow” and confirmed that the red indeed touched the yellow. I wanted a photograph, but not enough to disturb him and risk a trip to the ER and a stay in the hospital.

We walked quickly for the last quarter mile or so. The mosquitoes found us and any hesitation on our part to observe anything lead to the swatting fest. By the end of August we find ourselves ready for the rain which we welcomed in June and July to stop its daily or twice daily appearance, things to dry up just a little bit, and the humidity to fall to a level that makes the high 80s or even 90 degree temperatures feel just fine.

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