baby turkeys, a deer (and chipmunks) ... oh my!

Our schedule here at the Novitiate House this week is fairly un-programmed, so I'm taking advantage of the opportunity for a few quiet prayer days. This afternoon I went on a hike in a nearby nature preserve. On my walk I saw more chipmunks, a deer, and baby turkeys!

We have wild turkeys on the grounds of east coast groovy hq as well. I still hear the gobbling of the male from time to time, and last week I kept seeing him following two female turkeys around. He was perpetually showing his fancy feathers, and they were pretty much ignoring him.

Today at the nature preserve, I came across a little turkey family with the cutest little baby turkeys in tow! This is not an actual picture of the turkeys in question - it's a random internet picture - but it's pretty close in terms of cuteness.

Back in Portland I used to take regular rambling hikes in Tryon Creek State Park. Walking amongst the beautiful trees on the well maintained trails, I usually found myself drawn to peace and quiet through the rhythm of my footsteps. My meditative hikes were a regular part of my prayer practice. I didn't make it there very day, but a few days a week when the weather cooperated. I've missed that.

I discovered Flat Rock Brook (the local nature preserve) towards the end of last summer. The trees are beautiful and green this time of year and the trails fairly well maintained. There are also cars in the parking lot and people around for safety - always important! And, there's certainly more wild life than Tryon. After my walk, my spirit feels freer and more tuned in than it has in a while. Part of that may just be the endorphins from the exercise, but I also think there's something about walking amongst the trees. I think it would be good if I tried to get there once or twice a week this summer.

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