Today, my family and some friends wandered on a trail around a pond in Ft. Collins, Colorado called Red Fox Meadows. It was a gentle, one mile stroll, but it stretched into a far greater expanse in my heart.
Together we squealed and hushed ourselves when we saw a doe with her spotted fawn bounding behind her in the tall grasses, popping into view like a jack-in-the-box.
We watched with unnecessary fear how a greenish-blue water snake swam in the water.
We crept near enormous black turtles sunning themselves on sun-bleached logs, only to have them plop into the water.
We walked by the old gnarled tree where, two years ago, we saw a mother raccoon and her cubs.
We, for the first time in our lives, observed a mallard duck sitting on her nest by the shore, and we stepped back as the father spread his feathers out in warning that we were too close.
Further on, we counted seven fuzzy yellow ducklings from another nest, wobbling as they swam beside their parents.
Turning the corner on the trail, we laughed at the orderly line of Canada geese that walked single-file in front of us and then serenely entered the pond.
I returned rich with nature. And the joy didn’t stop: I recounted and then identified more of what we had seen: the Horned Lark, the Belted Kingfisher, the Black-Capped Chickadee, the Magpie, and the Red-Winged Blackbird.
We’ll return this evening to see the fox and the raccoon.
Oh, the riches of nature!