February Fortescue (Slytherin)
I've always loved going for long walks in the woods. The local lake has a lovely walking path, and I'd set my alarm clock just so I could greet the morning with a wake-up walk. No two mornings were ever the same.
The first part of the trail begins at a farm re-created to look as it did in 1865 rural America. We're talking log fence, log cabin school house, and goats. Not that I could see the goats from the wooded path; that required paying money one afternoon.
Next up are some lovely pine trees. I'm impressed with how nothing but pine trees choose to grow in that particular part of the woods. No weeds or wild flowers are there, either. Nature is so tame along the forest part of the walking trails!
Up the hill. Down the hill. Then...whoa! A black rat snake. Those things are huge! And long. Really good climbers. I once saw one climb into my rafters and knock baby birds out of a nest and eat them. These snakes are usually calm around humans, and gentle, because humans seldom kill them. They're constrictors who kill copperheads. Still, I'm not too happy to see one lying across the path. I take a deep breath and walk over it. The snake ignores me.
More trees, and, if you look closely, these have labels declaring their names. Betcha don't see that deep in the woods! Gosh, no willow. Guess it just didn't fit in the space provided. No spruce, either. The dogwood is gone. I feel cheated somehow. Until I spot the cardinal couple.
Cardinals! Such fun! Especially in the spring. They are so territorial, too. Oh, and now that I'm paying attention to birds and birdsong, I can hear the Beethoven bird! Yes, Beethoven “borrowed” the opening notes of his "Fifth Symphony" from the song sparrow. Poor little bird.
A clearing. A stream. Deer! They aren't running, so not only am I upwind of them, it's definitely not hunting season. So beautiful.
My path ends with a marker mentioning Theodore Roosevelt. I raise my water bottle high. “Thanks for the park and the woodlands, Teddy!”