I was fortunate to have a few days off of work. What a needed breather. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and I took myself on a local field trip. This time, with a dog in tow and no roller skates.

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I was euphoric. The warm weather, beaming sun, freedom from the work commute, and the growing enroachment (and my dread) of colder, shorter days made me approach random views along my travels with awe.

After a mini road trip around town, I made my way to Calvert Cliffs State Park with one of our hounds — I chose Buster, since the trails wind down to the Bay and he has the most proclivity towards the beach.

The beauty that one can find in absence always makes a tremendous impression on me. It’s the monolithic in-your-face-ness of seeing Mt. Rainier for the first time, the mind-boggling gape of the Grand Canyon, or simply having a fall-themed trail to yourself.

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What really caught my breath was the expanse of the marsh, nestled below the brilliant trees and sky. A wasteland, yet not.

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The beach was quiet. Buster went for a quick dip after our hike — any time you take a hound for a walk, plan for it to take about 8 times as long to get to your destination with all of the sniffing.

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Contemplative Buster, pondering the expanse of Chesapeake Bay
Contemplative Buster, pondering the expanse of Chesapeake Bay

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The cliffs themselves are generally off limits, as they are in varying stages of crumbling into the water below
The cliffs are generally off limits, as they are in varying stages of crumbling into the water below
Into the sun? Really?
Into the sun? Really? Need to work on our selfies…  and maybe with less drool, Buster?

A lot of us get “nesty” at this time of year. I’m definitely heading into that mode. Last Christmas, I really enjoyed gathering bits and bobs from around our farm and using them to make wreaths. My mom used to do this when I was a kid, and I “helped” her gather pinecones and boughs. She passed away in 1992 but I always channel her most around the holidays. My wreaths are sort of an organized chaos — rustic would be the nicer term to use, I guess.

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This year, I’m getting the bug a little early and decided to go foraging for some fall-themed stuff. Most I found on our farm, but some were gathered while on roller skates during some recent workouts around town.

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Milkweed pods, sweetgum bombs, echinachea heads,
Milkweed pods, sweetgum bombs, echinachea heads, “floofy sticks,” assorted grasses, etc.
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The white flowers are fake, to add some color to the dried wreath, currently in early stages of development

One last word on the Skate for Kate — Tony Russo, of Oceancity.com, wrote a beautiful piece on the skate. Check it out! http://www.oceancity.com/kristen-beatty/

My dad emailed Mr. Russo to thank him for writing such a great article, and signed off with his name and the title “Former bellhop at the Seascape Motel in Ocean City.” Mr. Russo emailed back and wants to interview my dad for some old-time bellhop stories! Nice!

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