Tag Archives: bird watching

5 Reasons Not to Hike—Just Table it for Later

 

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The Blue Bird Barn in Seven Islands Birding Park

What? Those that know me well will wonder if I bumped my head. What’s was wrong with me…was I really having a moment when I questioned going on a hike??!! Well, yes, I did. T.A.B.L.E. it, I thought:

I’m too Tired

It’s too Abstract

I’m too Busy

It’s too Limited

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Joy in overcoming hollow excuses

I’m too Energetic

Too Tired—I’m too tired and I just want to lay here. You too might like to hike but today you think you just need so sit to recover.

Too Abstract—Taking a chance on a trail that I don’t know I’ll like is just too abstract. I want to do only the kind of hike that’s really me. If it doesn’t sound really interesting to you, you too might not want to waste your time.

Too Busy—I’m too busy and I can’t fit one more thing into this trip. You might be on a trip that is so full with planned family and friend stops that you just can’t fit in any exercise.

Too Limited—2.5 hours? That’s not enough time to enjoy it. It’s 30 minutes each way and we’d only have about an hour to spend on the trail when we get there. You might feel like it’s not worth doing unless there is more time on your trip.

Too Energetic—I’m too energetic to move that slowly today. I want to see beauty and smell the flowers but it’s just too slow. You might feel like you have to really get up and go when you’re outside. You’ve got calories to burn and muscles to grow.

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Beautiful scenery – sunset, river, farms and birds, birds, birds

These are some of the excuses I made last night and I’ve heard others make them too. There are times when these are legitimate reasons but sometimes like I did, you might need to just blow away the excuses and take action.

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Is this a bird rocket ship!

Yesterday, when we went to the Seven Islands State Birding Park, I overcame some of these. I was tired. I didn’t know if a good place to watch birds was going to be a good hiking place. We were already booked for the day. We did only have 3 hours that we finally carved out. And I really was feeling that if I was going to exercise that I needed to run.

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A ground hog wobbling down the grass mowed trail

But wait, I thought…it is my fondest connection to nature with my Honey. We also didn’t know when we would be back this way again this year. I took the risk that maybe all of these thought were just empty excuses…maybe we shouldn’t TABLE it…we should go anyway!

The experience proved that I was wrong about “TABLEing” the idea and that it was right to go. Going to Seven Islands State Birding Park was the right thing to do . These thoughts from our experience might help you the next time you feel sluggish and despondent about doing the thing you know you really love.

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Stopping to smell the flowers

Not Too Tired—when we made the decision to go, something happened inside me like it always does. I got like a dog dancing at the front door when he knows it’s time for a walk. There is an energy that comes for me when the decision is made. The eager anticipation of what might happen begins to rise like the sun in my soul. As we began stretching out our legs in long strides up the first incline, physical energy woke up in me. My brain started doing its job of releasing all the happy and helper hormones that start during exercise.

Not Too Abstract—I prefer to have some advance knowledge that the trail will be my kind of place but do I really need concrete advanced knowledge to go outdoors with my pretty girl? It was not the traditional hiking trail but it was miles of unique mowed grass paths that I enjoyed this time at least as much as I do the usual dirt trail.

Not Too Busy—Many times I find that when I just take action, the important things will all fit. Not everything will fit ever – but only the most important things will fit when I work the priority list from the top down. We got there, spent the time we had and got back in time. The old line is tired but fits here – if you wait for all the lights to be green before you leave home, you will never leave. It’s a rare opportunity when life rolls out the red carpet and invites you to go hiking with your Honey. You just have to take action.

Not Too Limited—There was enough time to picnic, take pictures, see unusual scenery, watch happy animals, experience a sunset, believe the promise of God’s rainbow, laugh, talk, imagine, dream, exercise, and be together. We had a total of two hours in the park and we filled them with memories.

Not Too Energetic—I totally forgot about wanting to run. I carried chairs, a hydration pack and picnic supplies. This gave me an elevated heart rate that was all I really needed for the evening. I was truly tired and needed to be careful no to injury tired muscles anyway.

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Energized to see a new world – Loral in wonderland

I am still surprised that I had any resistance to a hiking idea. I have spent so many resources making the trail inviting to my Honey. I have her on the trail with me – she loves it now – so how could I have a negative thought?

I had a negative thought because of what I call dusty brain. Some of my frowning gut reactions are real, but most are just dust.  Dust from too many mental building projects at the same time. As I blew away the dust, the best results emerged!IMG_3099

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Do you have some wimpy excuses for not getting outside with your Honey? Are there any simmering ideas that could be great actions if you would just blew away the dusty excuses? Could you take action and see the dust fly away in the winds of a good time?

Seven Islands State Birding Park

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the rainbow that we saw as we entered the park

I love this little park! It reminded me of my childhood when I would spend hours walking through the field on neighbor’s farms. The acres and acres of meadows were full of birds.  The views of the French Broad River and a small pond were both worth stopping to see.

We started at the Blue Bird barn at the entrance. There are two picnic table in the barn if you want to picnic there. We brought two small chairs and wanted to eat with a grand view so we kept going.

We had to choose to either go on the 1.2 mile paved greenway that looked really nice or follow one of the more than 8 miles of mowed grass trails that wind around the refuge. We choose a quarter mile short cut to the ridge to try to catch the sunset from up there.

Once we got on the ridge we enjoyed the mowed trail. The grass is cut pretty short and the path is wide. We followed it past several bird houses and picked a spot to picnic near a bench under a Hack Berry tree.

We saw a couple of ground hogs – followed one of them down the trail for about 40 yards. Lots of rabbits and a few deer. My Honey got to see her first view of white tail deer loping in big arches through deep grass. They were bounding high and flipping their white tails. We marveled at how many bird calls we heard and how many birds there were going about their business. It was much like early morning in the country. I can’t even imagine how loud it is there in the morning.

The paved trail is mostly flat and the mowed trails have enough change in elevation to make me work a little but over all it is a moderate walk. Location: 2809 Kelly Lane Kodak, Tennessee 37764 – It’s off of I-40 East exit 402 just past Knoxville for us (we were traveling east from Nashville). In just about 4 miles from the interstate – there it is. These last four miles are very narrow roads. A large port-a-potty at the entrance is the only facility.

This was worth seeing! If we lived near by, it would be a regular daily exercise place.

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Have you been to a park recently? Would you share your experience with us?