I try to walk my dog every day, unless it’s too cold (chilly paws) or too rainy (wet dog smell). It’s good for both of us, but I also do it because if I don’t, she’ll keep a close eye on me, wagging her tail against the floor every time I walk by. It’s like my own non-sinister version of Poe’s The Telltale Heart. Thump, thump, thump.
We usually head out the front door, but yesterday I decided to take her with me in the car so we could check off another name on my 20th Anniversary Natural Areas Passport. Purchased in 1978, the Ross Natural Area is small, tucked between Rolland Moore Park and the Spring Creek Trail. The creek itself meanders through, as do paved and gravel walking paths. Parking is close by, Ross is wheelchair accessible, and off-trail exploration is allowed. I’m sure the residents in the nearby neighborhood visit this area often, and avail themselves of the benches when the weather is nicer.
Monday’s late snow covered any emerging traces of spring, but I saw a couple of pairs of mallards, one paddling and one on the wing, doing whatever they do to keep busy on a cold morning in March. Because of the biting wind, the dog and I didn’t take a long walk. But it must have been enough, because she didn’t thump her tail at me for the rest of the day.