An author of a blog called “30 Minutes a Day on Foot” that I discovered while Googling the Aaron River Reservoir last week offers an intriguing component to his post. He’s a naturalist, and after photographing something of interest and describing his “half-hour” walk, he finishes by noting how many new species he encountered, as well as the number of what he calls, “Stranger Hello’s.”
I thought of him while traipsing through my favorite cemetery today. Those of you who have been reading all along will remember that I’m not a ghoul; Central Cemetery is close to the library--my ultimate destination—and offers an amazing view. A short hike this morning was medicinal; the 4.6 miles I walked with a friend yesterday produced a sore back and stiff hips, so I took a lesser stroll to loosen up. (Now, if someone would remind me next time that sitting at the library in the same position for four hours facing my laptop would mitigate that benefit, I’ll be good.) The long route didn’t bother me the last three times I completed it, but perhaps the sub-arctic, 55 damp degrees yesterday had a negative impact. Truly, I’d have no idea that summer was coming, unless I saw the signs advertising the start of our Farmer’s Market today--hooray, but I digress.
So, getting back to the cemetery, as I descended the steep grade, I gazed out to Little Harbor and spotted an Snowy Egret standing near shore. They are not new or rare around here, but for as many years I have lived in this area, the beauty that I encounter as a part of my regular day invariably causes me to take a deep breath--and to long for a camera. I’ll try to remember the pocket digital when I walk from now on.
As for “Stranger Hello’s,” well the cemetery was dead silent (sorry--couldn't resist) but there was an enthusiastic “Good morning” from the woman pulling her mail from the box at the side of her antique colonial, and I returned a smiling hello from the man in the windbreaker walking his yellow lab. The two women power-strolling in sweatpants though, one of whom I believe was more likely being walked by her dog, well, they ignored me. In spite of that, I’d call it a successful outing, according to “30 Minutes a Day on Foot” standards. As we all know, two out three ain’t bad.