A Wonderful Place

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The heavy whooshing of the air conditioner does nothing to subdue the hard, crunching sound of my tires against the narrow dirt road. The length of a long, thick branch settled atop two smaller branches jetting about two feet out of the ground is the only defining parameter of the space allotted for vehicle parking. As I check the rearview mirror in a habitual, precautionary manner prior to pulling into a parking spot, I notice a billowy beige cloud trailing behind my car. Upon stepping out of the car, I am struck by two things: the beauty of my surroundings and the dry smell of the dirt cloud filling my nostrils. Except for the space just beyond the parking branch--wherein lies a small open field of grass with three trail markers, placed in a seemingly indiscriminant manner around its borders--large trees with plentiful green leaves encompass the scope of my sight. The trail markers are small, wooden poles with the names of their respective trails etched into them and color-coded for ease of reading and identification. The words 'Peeper's Pond' are etched in red on the marker to my left. Without hesitation, I decide to venture forward on this trail simply based on the humorous pleasure it gives me to say its name aloud. However, I quickly learn that the Peeper's Pond trail at the local nature center offers more than the pleasure of its name. While the sights and sounds of the trail provide the opportunity to witness portions of the environment not available to those living in the city, what makes a visit to Peeper's Pond highly enjoyable is ultimately the wonder of the view and the intriguing fear of what remains unseen.

A large Maple forms a natural archway over the entrance to the trail, as I pass from the penetrating heat o...

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...ough the Maple entryway, I resume my frantic flight.

Still fearful of the wild turkey I was sure would hunt me down, I returned to my car, started the engine, and quickly pulled away from the parking branch. Upon completion of a swift 180-degree turn to leave the wonders of the wild, I took another habitual glance through the rearview mirror. Through the billowy brown cloud of dust I make out only the slightest outline of the large trees--still resonating their welcome. The small wooden posts-- signifiers of new adventures at every turn--are barely visible. As the trees and posts quickly fade in size with the speed of my departure, I realize the wonder of nature far outweighs my fear of what may be found rustling in the grass. However, as I accelerate through the exit, I surmise I shall wait until a deep frost before returning to experience the wonders of nature.

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