been there…done that…or have I?
February 17, 2010
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I sometimes get tired of walking in the same places over and over again. The main reason for this is I see the same things and nothing new or exciting happens usually. This is the case for the ravine area on my college’s campus.
Since I started college, I have gone on walks through the ravine dozens of times. This ravine is not as elegant as it sounds. It is gnarled, filled with invasive species, and the creek is silty and muddy. One day, in the midst of all my school work, I decided to go for a walk. Since I did not have much time to get out to a state park, I reluctantly decided on the ravine…again. So I strapped on my snowshoes and tromped out into the overgrown brush.
Within 5 minutes of being in the ravine, I saw a Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) glide over the frozen creek bed. I smiled as I heard dozens of black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus ) fluttering in apparent response to the sudden movement of the large woodpecker.
As I continued walking, I was suddenly stopped dead in my tracks. A large, clumsy bird made a thunderous swoop as it lifted off the ground in front of me, causing me to let out a rather high-pitched scream. It was a ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus)! I was surprised at how close it was to campus.
These events reminded me that no place is ever stagnant or boring. If you go there often enough, you are bound to run into something new. Don’t stop being aware of your surroundings. It’s a sad trap to fall into to lose appreciation for a place.