Don't tell my family but sometimes the thing I miss most about not living in Utah is the mountains. Or the red rocks. It's a toss-up. And yes, some days my family tops that list. It's sort of a revolving top three depending on my mood, the weather, or what I've eaten for breakfast. I never can tell which will win out. But last week after my bout of missing my fam I recovered and quickly moved on to missing the mountains. Out here in Virginia there are at least a bazillion trees and its super green and the nearby Shenandoahs masquerade as mountains but it's just not the same thing. With the weather turning cool and the leaves beginning to turn I was aching for the smell of pine, grand vistas and the golden whispers of aspen leaves rustling in the breeze. Alas, it was not to be had. But we are lucky enough to have a ton of nature trails and preserves and state parks in the vicinity and Saturday morning I got up nice and early and drove about 15 minutes from my house to Huntley Meadows Park.
It's a marshy area beloved by birders with wooden boardwalks spanning the boggiest of land and dirt trails surrounding it. I spent a little over an hour wandering under lacy green canopies and clear blue skies seeing the first hints of autumn. I watched a family of turtles sunning themselves on a log, a family of white tailed deer bounding through the underbrush and a gaggle of birders watching some nesting hawks and herons (I was too far away to see the birds myself but the birders were a rather entertaining bunch on their own.) It was the perfect way to start a weekend.