Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Up a road, kind of slowly

One of the things that sold us on this house is the access to the adjacent forest preserve and all the trails that run through it. I had beautiful day dreams of gathering up the whole family and strolling out the door and into the woods without having to worry about driving and parking and the possibility of not having all the important gear we'd need for a Sunday afternoon nature hike. Like snacks. Snacks are very important to three year old hikers.

Dude, where's my graham crackers?

Unfortunately, we've only been on two or three decent walks since moving here. It's amazing how much of a time suck raising an infant is. We've had a beautiful fall, the weather has been perfect for it, but all my plans of family walks usually go down in flames when there are naps to be thought of. Not to mention the ticks. Don't even get me started on the ticks.

Okay, I can't resist. Not only have we found at least a gazillion ticks on the dogs upon returning home, not only wood ticks but also the dreaded Lyme Disease carrying deer ticks, but I also found a tick crawling on my arm while I was carrying the baby (and I screamed like a girl as my body went into fits of convulsions trying to shake the damn thing off, because DEER TICK. LYME DISEASE. CREEPY CRAWLY DISEASE CARRIER. GAH.) and Mr. C found a tick embedded in his.... In his...

Well, as one man confided in me on twitter (as if that was possible), and I quote, "My Uncle Nishan once found on his ... Balzac."

[Insert inappropriate testicle comment here.]


So anyway, the walks have not been happening. We went on a short hike last week with Mr. C's parents but it was late in the afternoon and kind of chilly and on the trail we chose to take there were lots of piles of horse poop to avoid. Poop that was hidden under a thin layer of fallen leaves. Dodging those landmines is really fun when you're holding onto a three year old's hand for dear life but the last thing we need is for Chicky to trip over a tree root and fall face down in week old horse apples. Needless to say, the hike did not live up to my expectations.

I let go of her hand to take pictures. I like to live dangerously.

Oh, and did I mention the hunting? Apparently, hunting season starts in the beginning of October, guaranteeing that our hikes during the best weather for it will take on a whole new level of stress. Horse poop? Ha! I laugh at horse poop when there's the possibility of being stuffed and mounted over someone's fireplace.

I come from a long line of hunters, deer mainly, but I had to do my research to find out the 411 on the full hunting season. There's bird season (pheasant, grouse, Wild *hiccup* Turkey) and Peter Cottontail season, Rocky the Squirrel season and Let's Kill Tod the Cute Little Fox season. Then there's hunting Bambi with bow and arrow and hunting Bambi's mom with a shotgun. That's my personal favorite. Guess taking the dogs out to the backyard to do their business will be a lot more interesting.

We even bought orange vests so we wouldn't be shot at while hiking. I have no joke for that. Feel free to interject.

But I still have my dream. The dream of one day seeing my dogs and my children on the trail, running ahead of me and Mr. C as we hold hands on a warm fall day.

The reality is the dogs will run ahead to gobble all the poop they can find and then I'll spend an hour picking tiny little disease carrying parasites off of them. And the girls will probably start a stick fight and one of them will end up in the ER. And we'll have to listen for gun shots and try not to be mistaken for Thumper.

But, dammit, I'm still going to dream.

Because I look pretty good in fluorescent orange.


Heather said...

Yeah hiking during hunting season adds a whole new dimension.

Anonymous said...

I was sitting here feeling all superior thinking "WE take walks ALL THE TIME" but then I realized that we just walk down the street to the playground and there are no ticks there OR people shooting at us. So I guess you win.

Anonymous said...


Welcome to my world. Just the other day a truck full of hunters said they'd try not to shoot in the general direction of my house.

Um, thanks I think?

Welcome to living on the wild side. I too rock the fluorescent orange.

motherbumper said...

Reality always ruins fantasy. GAWD, reality sucks.

SciFi Dad said...

Love the photos. LOVE THEM.

What if you gave Chicky a metal pot and spoon for the hike? It wouldn't be as peaceful, but you'd scare away all the deer so the hunters would leave your woods alone and you wouldn't feel like you're in a leafy version of Compton, yo.

MARY G said...

Yeah, totally dressing in orange these days -- and I do not look good in the hat, let me tell you. Squirrels fall around laughing. So does the husband.

I used to keep a pair of pants and a long sleeved shirt for each daughter to wear hiking that had been sprayed repeatedly with Bugbegone, in some form or other. Put an elastic band at the ankle -- it holds better than velcro. Also at the wrist if the tick population is thick. Ticks are not so bad in the spring, but other biters are thick then. Sigh.

You want my bear poop story now? No?

Can't match the um Balzac story. Cripes! I want to ask 'what was he DOing', but I think I know.

Tania said...

Good for you! Not everyone can pull off orange!

Anonymous said...

Adjacent forest preserve? As if that house and lot weren't fabulous enough already.

Balzac. Heh.

Patois42 said...

The biggest challenge for me is stomaching my dog's love for wild turkey poop. Blech.

Amy Urquhart said...

Aw, walks in the autumn woods are some of my favourite childhood memories. It's a good dream.

ewe are here said...


Horse poop? Ticks?

Autumn walks just shouldn't be that much work.

But totally worth the pictures... she's gorgeous!

Avalon said...

Don't even get ME started on the ticks!

After the 4 months I've endured, I'd rather face the hunters than the ticks.

Be very, very careful. Seriously.

Kizz said...

You've just confirmed my feeling that hiking is for the birds.

You've got orange vests for the pups, too, right?

Not Afraid to Use It said...

I hear you on the infant time suck. Everyone wanted to know why I hadn't done more outdoor activities in Tahoe. Because when you have a little parasite hanging off your tit every hour and a half, a hike just ain't happenin'.

As for the fluorescent orange vests? You're more likely to get shot bc the hikers are pissed that you are tramping around scaring the wildlife away.

Gray Matter Matters said...

Never in the history of ever have I been more grateful for my postage size plot of land, and my intrinsic laziness. Hiking? Sounds like work. Nature--pah

Daisy said...

Ah, the joys of a Blaze Orange wardrobe. Your kiddos are too young for strong tick repellent, too.

SUEB0B said...

What. the. heck?? I thought Chicky was a BABY. I mean, last time I noticed she was tiny...where does time go?

kittenpie said...

I've been in the woods and suddenly heard shots - SCARY! I think I'd be staying in with steel shutters drawn in that season.

Heather said...

I was hating on my flat, plain, boring ass suburban lot until you started talking about ticks.

I guess it's all good since I look absolutely horrid in orange.

The Stiletto Mom said...

That picture of her making the "ewwwww" face is priceless!!

It takes quite a woman to pull off fluorescent orange...I'm proud of you. Also, scared for you. But mostly proud.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Whoa, the hunting/orange vest thing would keep me far, far from the woods. But, love the evil laugh photo!

Anonymous said...

Hiking during hunting season sounds terrifying! My daughter was born in August and I had all these high hopes of taking long walks at the end of summer with the stroller, but uhm, I took two short walks. That was it.