LAST Sunday

Pileated 1

Why do I keep writing these things after the fact? In this case, a week after? Not sure. It’s been a long couple of weeks. Hurt my back changing the laundry(!), and did not walk, or do anything, for three days. I couldn’t bend over to tie my runners, so that punked out any outdoor activity. Rest, ibuprofen, and binge-watching True Detective eased the pain. The whole thing was upsetting. Previous back injuries were not age-related. Upper back pain (in concert with sharp pains in the ass) caused by work stress can happen at any age. Sleeping on the wrong surface (like a wine-stained floor) is something I did in my youth. Bending over…and throwing my back into an extremely painful spasm…that’s Old Age. Crap. I should really get back to my weight-lifting/stretching regime, or maybe I should just stop doing laundry.

Piliated 2
Pileated Woodpecker in Whitemud Ravine

After that, I took it slowly, walking with an obviously creaky gait (the dog looked mildly ashamed to be seen with me.) Last Sunday, I returned to the trails for a long, lovely walk. Sadly, not much since then! Short walks with Maggie, and on Wednesday I was felled yet again, this time by a cold. Torrential storm on Friday and Saturday morning with more than 60mm of rain. Not much of anything to report, by way of exercise.

Whitemud Ravine (south) boardwalk, between the 2nd and 3rd bridge
Whitemud Ravine (south) boardwalk, between the 2nd and 3rd bridge

So…back to last Sunday, after a short stroll through the park with Maggie, I set off for Whitemud sans dog, via the powerline. Within 25 minutes I saw not one but two pileated woodpeckers. The first one was relatively close, so I was able to pull off a few good shots with my camera. The other one was further away, so only black silhouettes. After that, I continued for another hour through the woods, and then a final 20 minutes through Westbrook. At all times I would prefer to walk with my buddy Maggie, but without her, I can cover a lot more territory, a lot quicker. It’s been tricky dividing my time. I never know anymore if she’s going to be into a longer walk, or more likely, will stop dead after we’ve barely started. Since I often drive to the trail head with her, this can be a huge waste of time, and disappointing, I think, for both of us. But, I must honour an old dog’s bones. She knows better than I what she can, and can’t handle. It’s just so unpredictable.

In the backyard, where we spend most of the last two weeks
Maggie laughing after I *accidentally* sprayed the cat with the hose

Supposed to be warm this week, so I’m anticipating some good hikes. My cold is in the chest, so I’ll probably wait a day or two before attempting anything vigourous. Today, I’m walking somewhere, maybe not for long, because I’m still mid-cold, but I’ve got to get out. It’s beautiful, and I have cabin fever…among other things.

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