Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Happy Spring!

Boots ready for the trails.
We try to get Beansprout out of the house at least once a day, and by that I mean, OUTSIDE!  This usually involves going for a walk or bike ride around the neighborhood.  However, since we didn't make any big Spring Break plans, we decided to change things up on the first day of Spring and really get outside! 
 One of the things I definitely love about where we live is the accessibility to great walks and hikes.  In about 15 minutes we found ourselves in the middle of the forest breathing in the fresh, clean air.  Last summer we were thrilled to realize Beansprout really likes hiking, and made a concerted effort to get out to different trails in the area.  In our years hiking with a dog, some trails were off limits to us, so it was even more refreshing to get out for a hike on a new trail!  I'm still amazed at how great Beansprout does on the trails.  Hand-in-hand we walked the Red Trail at Malcolm Knapp Research Forest, and he didn't ask for a shoulder ride until we were more than half-way through.  Little trooper.

My favorite part of the trail - I love the way the trees are covered in lichen and how there is almost a uniformity to the way their branches turn toward the sky.

Ever since a trip to Alaska many years ago, Matt and I are always on the look-out for lichen hanging like hair on the trees.  It signals that the air quality is excellent, as the lichen are so sensitive to air pollution that the will only grow millimeters in polluted areas.

We saw a few trees that had been uprooted by the winds, but the wall that this particular tree created is unreal.
I only had my iPhone along, but found myself snapping away (read: photo overload!) because it was so interesting to see how the trees changed as you walked along the trail!  We even found the perfect spot to return to with a picnic when it warms up just a bit.

Though Beansprout enjoyed the hike, the dump truck and the two logging trucks coming off the mountain were the big highlights for him!

I would love to hear how you get yourselves outside.  Have you taken on any new trails lately?  Any new adventures in the great outdoors?

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