This unseasonably warm weather all month has been a delight. Instead of layering up for cold weather hikes, we’ve been enjoying sunny days and temperatures hovering in the high teens (mid 60s F).
It’s been a long, slooow autumn, and although the trees should be mostly bare by now, they’re still showing off their fall colours. That’s a bit of a surprise this late in October.
But there have been many more unexpected sights.
Like finding a trio of tiny bird houses that have become visible only because all the leaves have fallen.
I wouldn’t have expected to see a Monarch butterfly at the end of October … practically dancing in front of our faces before posing on a shrub for its photo op.
Or the tiny little turtle sunning on the trail.
And I certainly didn’t expect to almost step on a snake which had cleverly disguised itself as a stick for Hallowe’en … hiding among the other twigs and branches on the trail.
We scared the bejeezus out of each other.
He tore off in a panic in one direction, while I’m pretty sure I broke a personal record on the vertical jump, followed by a sidewards dash in the opposite direction of the rapidly disappearing snake.
Although I’ve never given thought to it before in the 5 years we’ve been hiking together, I was suddenly grateful that Helen never carries a camera …. because she was barely containing her amusement.
I shudder at the thought of a video of “Joanne Meets Snake” circulating on YouTube.
That would definitely be an unpleasant surprise.