“Remain calm, serene, always in command of yourself. You will then find out how easy it is to get along.” -Paramahansa Yogananda
For me, this is one of the easier Weekly Photo Challenges. Hiking in itself provides me with a high degree of serenity that can not be matched by any other activity. This is one of my favorite moments caught recently at sunset. The possibilities, not only in this post but the previous two serenity posts, are endless. The paths provided by each, both figuratively and literally, open doors for every person if you let them.
“While I relish our warm months, winter forms our character and brings out our best.” -Tom Allen
The first hike of December!!!! As you probably can imagine, it was pretty cold when I started my hike this morning. Not frigidly cold (as it certainly could have been), but cold enough to where I couldn’t just where shorts and a t-shirt (my favorite hiking attire). At 22 degrees, this was one of the coldest mornings that I have hiked this year. With no wind blowing, although it was chilly, it made the hiking easy.
It was truly an odd feeling to be on the trail today and after almost always being a party to the woods waking up, I was instead for once looking at the coming night. Being pretty deep in the woods and surrounded by many hills, the darkness enveloped me much quicker than the morning light does as the sun rises. As I exited the woods in almost total darkness, I was able to catch the last of the sunset off in the distance.
The sky at Ward Pound Reservation as the sun sets.
It’s a rare day in late, late November when you can actually hike for a few hours in shorts and a t-shirt and not feel chilly at some point. Today, I decided to hold off starting my hike until around 10:30 am. My original thought was that it would be much warmer than the usual 6:00 am start which would make things a little more comfortable.
The one thing that I tend to forget when I start my hikes later, especially on days like today, are the number of people who come out to hike. Because I usually get out so early, I rarely see anyone with the exception of some trail runners. On my hike today it seemed like I was running into someone ever couple of minutes. I actually started wondering where they were all coming from…
All in all it was another excellent hike. I got to meet a couple of nice people and as usual they had some incredibly friendly dogs who were eager to make my acquaintance. I really should start taking picture of all of the dogs that I meet when I am hiking.
“I believe the world is incomprehensibly beautiful — an endless prospect of magic and wonder.”
— Ansel Adams
“We must go and see for ourselves.”
— Jacques Cousteau
One of the things that I love most about fall hiking are the trees. No longer covered in leaves, the bare branches stand a lonely guard over the rest of the woods. I don’t know why, but I find that once they have been prepped for winter, they are truly fascinating. At dawn or under a clear blue sky, each branch, large and small, present themselves as the one true guardian of nature as it sinks into its winter slumber.
The transformation that has taken place in the woods at Ward Pound Ridge over the last month and a half has been incredible. My first exposure to these trails was late July, when summer was already in full swing. Now, as time passes and the leaves have fallen, the view changes almost daily.