Monday I walked 6 miles, preparing for a trip out west later in the fall. I left the neighborhood, walking along a fairly busy road through my small town. If I don’t focus on the road and the cars the walk is pretty. I cross a bridge over Turkey creek waterway and as always I stop to enjoy the view. As I stand on the bridge several cars pass by, but I pretend I am alone and can’t hear them. A little bit further down this busy street I turn into an older section of town and walk in peace beside 1950’s era homes. The yards are green, and the homes smaller. I see several healthy gardens, and am jealous. My garden has expired in the heat and I am waiting for cooler weather before trying again.
Turning with the street I follow the train track through town. Although I don’t see a train on this walk, a huge cargo airplane flies overhead, loud enough to drown out any other sounds. The walk ends at our town park and boat ramp. This is one of my favorite places to be. I always see water birds, egrets, herons, sometimes bald eagles and alligators. As I walk along the drive a car stops so the driver can talk to me. He rolls down his window and leans over.
“I don’t want to scare you , miss, but I wanted to tell you I saw three coyotes out here the other day. I called the city and told them. You be careful out here, OK?”
I thanked him and walked on, not afraid or worried. Coyotes are very common in urban areas. They are not generally dangerous to people. The road is bordered on one side by baseball fields, and on the other by dense trees. I notice something pink, and while thinking about the man that was upset to see wild animals in the park, I look at a huge pink shopping bag, empty water bottles and other trash. I think we have the wrong idea of what we should fear.
The walk was enjoyable, hot, and worth every step. It took most of the morning because I took my camera. Once I was back home I regretted not picking up the trash. It only takes one person to toss trash and ruin the landscape, but it also takes only one person to pick up the trash and make things better.