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Over The River & Through The Woods

I am lucky enough to have rented a house, this past Autumn, that backs right up to a mid-sized protected forest that surrounds a natural mid-sized lake. I've lived in this area for several years now, having previously rented an apartment that also backed up to the forest, but on the opposite side of the lake. There are a few man made walking paths, and numerous dirt trails for hiking. They wind up into hills and down into valleys, crossing through marshes, and over creeks that empty into little coves around the lake.

These woods are often the destination for our family outings. It is so relaxing to sit in a rocker on the deck of the boathouse, sipping a lemonade, and watching the geese make rounds around the lake. Sometimes we rent a paddle boat and go out on the water ourselves. One day, we might try some fishing.

The kids used to love feeding the varieties of duck and geese from the shore, but that has recently been banned, and with good cause. We have a large population of Canadian geese in these parts, that are wonderful to see, but shouldn't be here year round, like they are. They are migrating birds that need to be traveling up and down the coast, seasonally, following food sources, and gathering at mating and nesting grounds. However, when food is so easily found at the end of a human hand, why bother? So they stay, and they multiply, and their bodily waste pollutes the lake, killing the vegetation. Without the water plants to oxygenate the water, the fish die. Without that source of food, the numbers of some of the predatory animals will decrease. It's all a delicate ecosystem that needs to be protected.

My favorite forest activity is to just wander about, taking photos of Mother Nature, in all her many outfits and accessories. You'll be seeing a lot of those photographs here soon. I've been saving them up for just such a stage.

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