Little Hikes and a Word about Gratitude

We’re getting our payback for late July/early August in northern Michigan. We endured about three weeks of cold temperatures then, but we’ve enjoyed truly wonderful fall weather so far this season. Today, it’s sunny, windy, and warm. Perfect for a walk later 🙂

spotlit shroom

Over the weekend, we had hoped to kayak the Platte River. The salmon are scrambling up the rivers on their annual spawning run, and we like to float above and watch the foray. Alas, though it was exceptionally pleasant, it was also windier than we’d have liked, so we opted for some local hikes instead.

Pyatt Lake

We meandered around the short trail at the Pyatt Lake natural area. It’s a decent place to wander around, but aside from the lake (pond?), there’s nothing too spectacular here. Well, except for that spot-lit mushroom above 😉

Next we headed on up the Old Mission Peninsula for the trails beyond Haserot Beach. The wild grapes have ripened, decorating the trail’s edge in gold, and the ivy and sumac are resplendent in red.

Click any image to embiggen. I’m partial to the bench.

All the normal early fall specimens dotted the pathside: yellow-veined red maple leaves, golden beech leaves, ochre grasses, wildflowers in a few hues of purple, and of course – an array of toadstools.

We only hiked a couple of miles (it was 80 degrees in the shade, and we were overdressed!), but I am so glad we have these areas around to explore. They don’t have to be anything special for me to find them special. Just that they exist for folks to unwind and renew is enough, because I use them for exactly that. And I am grateful that others – namely those who use and keep up the trails – value them, too.

Into the woods, and outta the woods…and home before dark!

My blogging friend Kathy (okay, so she’s a real person, too; we’ve met and I could just call her my friend now) recently posted a blog about being thankful for things. I figure I can’t ignore the serendipity of the timing – I had also just learned of a study supporting the idea that people who are appreciative are happier. Thus my moment of gratitude. I’m not going to set a schedule for my moments of appreciation/thankfulness, but I am going to try to pay it forward a bit, and be more consciously aware of the little things for which I ought to be happy. Feel free to join me. It should make you happy. 🙂

10 thoughts on “Little Hikes and a Word about Gratitude

  1. This is wonderful, Heather. And, yep, guess we’re “real” friends seeing we’ve met & all. And may meet again, who the heck knows? Glad you’re paying your gratitude forward. You know, you are one of the most grateful people in your love of nature that I know. Many blessings…

    • Kathy I really do try to be grateful. I just think this goes right along with being mindful and present. It can be way too easy to get caught up in negatives. I’ve surrounded myself with nature, and I don’t want to take my situation (or Mother Nature) for granted. Blessings to you, too.

  2. I was partial to the berries until I got to the golden toadstool, how to choose? I think it is not so much what you “should” appreciate, but more opening your eyes and heart and really seeing – which opens the door to appreciating and inhaling beauty in many forms.


    • I think you’re right about “should.” There really is just so much to appreciate in this world, and I’ve been feeling a little negative lately. Time to step back (or up?) and inhale what the world has to offer 🙂

    • It’s ridiculous, but I can’t help myself! Last night (this morning – 3am-ish), we were walking back in from the back pasture and I spotted a couple of those yellowish toadstools off the side of our path. Had a little moment of wonder with them before stumbling to bed 😉

  3. Ahhh, a kindred spirit who also was moved to blog with gratitude about the remarkable world around us and how fortunate we are to escape even for a short hike occasionally to really appreciate it . . . I am still working on my post with photos from my weekend hike! Kathy’s post was so timely.

    • Kathy’s posts are often timely 😉
      I try to practice presence and appreciation, but it’s always good to have a reminder. Our world is indeed remarkable and I’m grateful I get to experience it happily!

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