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.

the access road I take to get to the trail

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.

click the image to learn more about Merlin

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.

last time I was through here the trees were mostly bare

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?

8 thoughts on “learning

    1. Patricia – thank you for stopping in and congratulations on your new book. I earned an A in the class, but my take away is even bigger. I have played with the app several times since and last week I heard a great horned owl, the app even picked it up over the song of the northern Cardinal. Again, thank you for stopping in and stay cool in this summer heat. Peace.

  1. U have Merlin on my phone, a similar app to the one you are using. I LOVE IT! I was never good at identifying birds by calls and this is SO MUCH FUN! Plus I found out there are lots of birds out there that I know nothing about! I need to take it out to one of my favorite places to walk, the Shiawasee Nature Preserve. My sister is arriving tomorrow so maybe we’ll go out there together Great post!

      1. Dawn, Thank you! I do that ALLLLL the time. I read you post this morning about your visit to the nature preserve. Glad you were able to spend time with your sister. Sounds like to was full of wonder. Stay curios. Peace.

  2. Well, as you wrote this, I was on a Butterfly Survey, something that’s being done weekly at Fountains Abbey to see how things are going in the butterfly world. Most weeks I do it with an expert to help me, but his week was challenge time, and I managed it, for a variety of reasons, on my own. It was a challenge indeed, but with the help of a trusty chart, I managed it. So – you – birds: me – butterflies. Happy weekend!

    1. Margaret, glad you are keeping busy being curious and always learning. It was a happy weekend and I enjoyed this morning’s post of yours. Thank you for stopping in and keep making your summer count, store up that sunshine.

Thanks for visiting MtDC. How are YOU Making YOUR Days Count?