My Last July Walk And What I Learned

Yesterday was my last outside walk for the month of July, and it was especially sweet. Not only was it the only day recently when it wasn’t breathtakingly hot, but there were so many beautiful and interesting surprises along the way.

I was just sure that the wild blackberry bushes were going to be empty already, but many of them are heavy-laden with both red and black berries. I harvested all the black ones, and I’m guessing it will be another week at least until the red ones have turned. It seems very late this year, but 2020 has been crazy in so many ways that this doesn’t really surprise me.

I berry picked my way along the big levee and stopped at the bottom of the ridge. This hill is my ultimate walking goal, and I told my #99Walks ladies yesterday that I’m going to conquer it in the month of August. (Check out the 99 Walks app and community if you’re ready to get motivated and get moving again. It’s the best choice I’ve made all summer!)

And there are butterflies everywhere! A few days ago I was on the deck and one landed on my hand. I felt like a Disney princess. Walking through the prairie part of the property was like the most refreshing thing my soul has done in a long, long time. 

This little guy made it extra special. 

The wild flowers are out in full force everywhere, despite the terrible heat we’ve had. I half expected them to be brown and toasted, but their colors were absolutely brilliant.

I couldn’t see these sumac plants from the house, so they were fun to come across. I used my Picture This plant identification app to learn that deer love smooth sumac, which explains a lot out here on the Carrell Wildlife Preserve. They’re pretty invasive, too, with as many as 700 seeds on each plant. It’s so cool to know stuff, isn’t it?

On a bummer of a note, though, the beavers are causing havoc all over the property. They have already created a dozen big slides where they’re going to the big pond with their collection of trees. This small tree is just one of the latest casualties, so we’re trying to implement a few relocation projects to get rid of them. (If you’d like to have that last sentence explained, let me know.) All in all it was an amazing hour of walking, thinking, picture-taking and berry picking - exactly what my heart needed on the last day of a crazy month. Here’s to August!


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