With my afternoon to be filled with lifting, digging, and hauling plants for the local parks, I found myself hesitant this morning to work on my own garden, though the salvia, rosemary, lavendar, and sage were ready and much needed to be done before I could plant them.
But, I knew better.
Far more frequently now, I pay the price for wanting to stay at the same speed and intensity of my twenties and early thirties when I could run before breakfast, deconstruct a deck by lunch, and bike with my kids before dinner.
With hands aching as I type, I know better than to work in the garden all morning with what is to come this afternoon. And I have a half marathon to begin planning for. I ran some good miles last night. Though I would love another fast three or four miles, I know I need to wait until tomorrow. The race is in the fall but avoiding injury is as much a part of my training as proper nutrition or increasing the time allotted for stretching as I go longer distances.
Somehow time wins no matter how fast you think you can go. Funny how that works.
So, in my restless frame of mind, I wandered up to Hawlings River, the Rachel Carson Park, where I have done a great deal of winter photography.
Arriving later than my usual dawn hour, my choice of trails was dictated by the presence of groups in the park. I guess there was a guided hike or two going on this morning. Having no desire to negotiate other dogs, as mine was with me, or any desire for pleasantries quite yet, I took whichever direction was quieter. Sometimes silence is golden while company is brass. This morning was one of those times.
Down by the river, the native azaleas were in full bloom, beating out the mountain laurel which will bloom in June. I would have wandered and taken more photographs but that would have meant letting the dog off leash, and, with other dogs around, too much trouble for a mind already seeking a little less of that.
Continuing along the trail, heading away from the parking lot and the more traveled parts of the park, the wide trail, used by horses, is lined with ferns. The woods are so dense here that you can sense the urgency of of all this life pushing down into the soil and up to the sun, crowding and jostling. Thousands of tulip poplar saplings push up through the understory in this park, so much competition in this rich habitat.
Unfortunately not flying, (was it gleaning moisture from the mud?) this black swallowtail was in the middle of the trail. I helped it off, not wanting it to be crushed by the horses or other trail users. I left it among the mayapple and fern.
The park system mows every few years or so up by the parking lot to provide invaluable meadow habitat. Swallows, bluebirds, and butterflies can be seen quite frequently here. If nothing else, the meadow is simply a beautiful landscape. I enjoy taking photographs here.