a long narrow hilltop

11.9.21 ~ Candlewood Ridge, climbing up to the ridge

Last week we revisited Candlewood Ridge, where we had an amazing walk in April 2020. This day we didn’t get as far as we did the last time because Tim’s back and hip were acting up, but it was interesting to see how different things were with the passing of time.

For one thing, we remembered spotting a glacial erratic across the ravine but there was so much vegetation now that we couldn’t even see the other side of the ravine. So we walked north along the trail at the top of the ridge and spotted an erratic that Tim had stood next to last time. The brush was so thick we couldn’t get close to it.

I put a picture of Tim by it last time below. Nature is always changing the scenery!

4.17.20 ~ Tim with the same boulder a year and seven months ago
so many orbs

After we got to the erratic above we decided to turn back. But when we got to the side trail to go back down to the car I spotted another erratic farther south on the ridge, in the direction we hadn’t taken last time. So we found a spot for Tim to sit and rest and I took off on my own to get some pictures. Little did I know I was in for a good scare.

front of the huge glacial erratic

I took pictures of the front and then went around to the back of it and took some more.

back of the huge glacial erratic

As I was taking pictures of the back I became aware of the sound of panting approaching from behind me pretty quickly. I froze, and before I knew it a loose dog appeared. I have an intense fear of large and medium size dogs so it was all I could do to keep myself from panicking. I forced myself to remember Cesar Millan’s advice, “no touch, no talk, no eye contact.” I was glad I had the camera in my hands, for some reason it made me feel less vulnerable. The dog seemed uninterested in me and kept a respectable distance, although it did circle around me a few times.

side of the huge glacial erratic

I moved to the side of the erratic and kept taking pictures, ignoring the dog. I didn’t realize he got in two of the pictures! Then I decided to start walking back to Tim, followed by the dog. After I got within earshot I called him, calmly, and asked him to come to me. Meanwhile another dog came along the path, and then about the time Tim and I met the dogs’ owner came along, too. Phew! She continued north on the trail and we took the path down to the car. My heart was pounding.

path down from the ridge

Instead of heading straight home we took another autumn drive and wound up near the Mystic River. Mallard photo op!

And berry tangles!

Like a tide it comes in,
wave after wave of foliage and fruit,
the nurtured and the wild,
out of the light to this shore.
In its extravagance we shape
the strenuous outline of enough.

~ Wendell Berry
(The Arrival)

For some reason the berries and twigs made me think of calico cloth or old-fashioned wallpaper. Autumn lingers…

14 thoughts on “a long narrow hilltop”

  1. I don’t know about Cesar’s advice but I like it. Will remember it. I agree about your last photo, it looks exactly like old-fashioned wallpaper. Charming, really.

    1. Cesar’s advice seemed to work this time. I hope there will not be a next time! I still have some wallpaper and contact paper from the 1980s, definitely not as charming as the much older stuff.

  2. If you remember it – it is good to “burst into blessings” as Pierre Pradervand suggests. Like” I bless this situation with love and kindness.” Somewhere i also read this story – supposed to be real: Say to the animal, inside:” You are Spirit – healed and whole and innocent. I am Spirit – healed and whole and innocent. And I declare that there has never been anything else between us than the purest Christed Love.”

    1. Oh my, Leelah, I could never pull that off! Ignoring the dog worked very well. Once when a growling, snarling dog came charging at me I put one hand on my hip and the other hand pointing straight behind him and said sternly, “Go home!” He stopped dead in his tracks and turned around and left. I’ve learned a lot over the years from Cesar Millan about dog and human behaviors.

    1. You have my sympathy, Jane! Ever since I was little people let their dogs knock me over, push me aside, and sit on me. I later learned that these were dominating behaviors (they sensed my fear) and not the friendly gestures their owners claimed!

  3. Beautiful Mallard capture with reflection! Really love your first photo going up the hill, it looks like an oil painting. Your last two photos made me think how beautiful the twigs and vines were decorated with Christmas ornaments! 😊

    1. Thank you, Donna! 😊 You know, every year I think of decorating twigs and vines instead of putting up a tree. I see how cool it can look in magazines but I’m not sure I could pull it off as well as the designers do. And nature does it better. 🌲

  4. A lovely autumn outing, Barbara, all the late leaf colors are so earthy. Aren’t erratics amazing? I love coming across them in the woods and wonder what stories they could tell. πŸ™‚

    1. Yup, now that we’re back in the woods glacial erratics and colorful autumn leaves are everywhere! It’s a delight for my senses, and even the earthy smell of the season makes my heart glad. I love touching the erratics, connecting with eons of glacial history. πŸ‚ 🍁

  5. These are gorgeous, especially the ones with the berries and that white, spiky thing. I’m sorry about the scary dog. I don’t particularly like dogs off-leash either, especially when I’ve got Monkey with me. That’s good advice about not making eye contact with them though.

    1. Thank you, Debbie. I do wonder what those white spiky things are. Maybe old man’s beard, but I’m not sure. I can imagine things getting tricky encountering a large off-leash dog while walking with a small dog on a leash. I never had to walk our Sheltie but my sister and I had to play fetch with him in the yard every day after school.

  6. I probably would have been scared of the dog, too. You never know. I try to sometimes talk my nervous system out of being frightened, but it Simply Is. Except sometimes it isn’t. Beautiful pictures as always.

    1. Thank you, Kathy. Sometimes I think with me the fear is mainly about the size. I’m afraid of horses, too. But it’s true, it Simply Is. But sometimes we can find ways to “manage” it, like Joan Tollifson’s nail-biting.

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