Yesterday, I went for a hike at my favorite hiking spot, Herrick Lake Forest Preserve. It’s a short drive from house and it makes a huge difference in my hike compared to my neighborhood. I’ve posted photos from previous hikes at the forest preserve. The preserve has woods, a prairie, and a marsh and the main crushed limestone hiking trail winds through it all.
It was a beautiful day and I had initially planned to hike first in the morning, but I decided to hike later in the day. I knew it would be relaxing and restorative.
When I had arrived home from the lake Monday afternoon, I discovered a house with no internet. I tried to resolve the issue, but a solution was beyond my capabilities. I called for support and learned the earliest a service technician appointment was available, was Thursday morning with an 8-12 service window.
The main reason I had come home from the lake was that I had enrolled in a graduate level class to learn more about assessing students in my science classes. Assessment or grades have been a HOT TOPIC in public education over the past couple of years and I wanted to learn more. The class was virtual with two internet ZOOM meetings.
I could use my phone as an internet hot spot, but the prospect of ZOOMING using my phone concerned so I decided to use the local public library for my heavy internet usage. It worked out well and I was patient and waited for the service tech to arrive Thursday morning.
When the tech arrived, I was outside working at my ‘summer office’ on the deck using my phone as my internet connection. I invited him, but he told me he wanted to start outside the house where the line enters the house. That’s where he found the problem, somewhere down the line there was a broken connection. A couple of years ago we had an outage and it caused by mice chewing on the wires in the junction box in the backyard. We talked about it, and he told me that it was a common problem and he laughed saying animals gave him job security.
He told me that he couldn’t make the repair, but another service tech was needed to find the break and make the repair. He told me I didn’t need to be home for the repair, so I used the opportunity to take off and hike.
Even though Herrick Lake is a favorite place to hike, I realized it had been more than a month since I had hiked there.
I started my hike at the place I always do, an access road to the main trail loop.
Usually, I keep walking and stop briefly to snap a photo or two along the way. These photos often morph into W^2 posts, but instead I wanted to try something new, I wanted to listen to birds. Herrick is home to variety of birds and other wildlife – white-tailed deer, coyote, other mammals, and reptiles. On this hike I wanted to focus on birds. My interest in birds began well before the pandemic began, but it’s accelerated because of the pandemic. Each day makes me realize how little I really know. There is always room to learn.
This past weekend our next-door lake neighbor shared a birding trick. It was a phone app which I could use to identify bird species by their songs. I had been playing with it in the mornings while I watched the feeders off the deck. But yesterday, I wanted to try something new on my hike.
It was a blast and a hike that normally lasts less than an hour, took close to an hour and a half. I still covered the same distance but burned less calories – 493 vs 549 – compared to a similar hike in late April.
It was a good hike and along the way I captured photos and video which I am going to turn in another post next week after I have worked on the videos, stay tuned.
It’s Friday morning and it’s gently raining outside. We need the rain. Today is going to be an amazing day and I there is a lot of learning ahead of me – science assessment, birds, and life in general. A day doesn’t go by without learning. So, I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, learning all the time.
What something you’ve learned lately?