Beehives on a Brick Building in Butcher’s Hill at N. Chester & E. Fairmount

Beehives on a Brick Building in Butcher's Hill at N. Chester & E. FairmountWhat a perfect Saturday, all late-summer blue skies and cool morning air, I spent the morning in a car, but the rest of the day was out in it. R. drove up the hill to fetch N. and me and then we headed out for a hike at Oregon Ridge State Park. Now, I’ve hiked around this park at least a dozen times, all four seasons, with lots of different parts of my Baltimore. It’s like my Gwynns-Falls-Trail-Out-to-Middle-Branch-Park bike ride suggestion, but in a car–always a sure win, because it is just plain perfect out here. Continue reading

Public Places, Sacred Spaces Bench in Druid Hill Park Behind Clipper Park Road

Public Places, Sacred Spaces Bench in Druid Hill Park Behind Clipper Park RoadYesterday’s bike ride was long, made longer by an nighttime ride to and from Federal Hill for a fundraising party where it was all dancing, so today I woke up sore and tired, legs like lead. But it was Sunday morning, and it was Sunday Morning Hiking Club, so I had to stretch and get on out there. Today we walked through Druid Hill Park. I’ve biked all over that park dozens of times, but I’d actually never *walked* in it–makes it a totally different place. We started at this small section of the park behind the new apartments in Woodberry. The clearing is covered with leftovers from Baltimore’s city marble quarry (or something). And there was this bench–it has a little spot underneath to stow a book, including a little plastic cover to keep the pages safe in the rain. Apparently there are a number of benches like this in Baltimore parks, but it was new to me. Sometimes it’s better to walk. A few hours later and I was home, working, and then, I don’t know if you’ve heard but…the Ravens are going to the Super Bowl!

Fog and Trees at Leakin Park Behind the Old Backstop at Seminole & Kevin Road

Fog and Trees in Leakin Park By the Old Baseball Diamond at Seminole & Kevin RoadI didn’t ride a bike today, but I did take a walk with my Sunday Morning Hiking Club. We did a repeat walk around Leakin Park, and here are some of the things I saw: a rusted out backstop with the winter remains of ivy climbing up one side, stands of skinny, naked trees, the undersides of giant thrown trees caked with mud, two cupped mushroom caps on stalks poking out of leaves, piles of deer shit, the leavings of experiments and observation, piles of corn, a deer stand, a yellow-green golf ball, the front wheel and pedals of a Big Wheel, a baseball worn down to the threads, a plastic grocery bag, an empty and unmarked brown glass bottle, an old tire, green scaly mushrooms growing out of downed trees, a tiny salamander in his tiny tree bark house, a sledgehammer head, and unidentified scat. There were other things, I’m sure, but I wasn’t taking notes. All in all we maybe tramped around 1/20th of the park. Good thing there are many, many Sundays in Baltimore in my future, eh?

People Gathered at the Maryland Heights Overlook at Harper’s Ferry National Park

Ok, so this isn’t what I saw riding my bike around today. It’s what I saw riding my bike around today. It’s what I saw yesterday when S. and I lugged our over-buffet-ed Thanksgiving selves up the side of the hill that felt like a mountain, and as you can see, we weren’t the only ones who had the idea yesterday. Continue reading

Prettyboy Dam in the Hereford Zone of Baltimore County

I left my bike at home today and joined S. and J. for a hike in Gunpowder Falls State Park out in Baltimore County. Those two are fearless, but I’m a baby so we took a slow slide on mud and wet leaves above the river until we had our feet on more expansive flats. The air smelled like decaying leaves and fall and, according to S., just a little bit like licorice in a spots. We walked along, stopped to admire S.’s rock-skipping skills and J.’s apparent natural talent for the same, admired impressive mushrooms and wished for a Field Guild to Mushrooms, and enjoyed apples while sitting on a fallen tree. Continue reading

View of a Creek off Guyton & Bottom in Gunpowder Falls State Park

My dear friend S. has been in town visiting from New Orleans, which means everything feels like home, even though I’m not riding my bicycle (though this might be a good reason to get a tandem). We’ve spent time driving and walking, and today we did a little of both. S. drove us out to Gunpowder Falls State Park for some easy hiking and a session sitting ourselves in the cold waters of a creek that I swear is flowing the wrong way. Continue reading

Trees and Blue Skies at Little Bennett Regional Park

I spent my weekend with S. and her family in Damascus, Maryland, which meant no bicycling for me (though when the folding bicycle gets here, that won’t happen again). On the plus side, I got to go on a couple of lovely walks, one along a paved path where I saw a gajillion deer, and today’s at Little Bennett Regional Park. The sign said bikes were invited, and I thought about how maybe I should have a mountain bike, but then I reminded myself that sometimes it’s good to take a walk, and you can see entirely different things on a walk that you can see from a bike, so perhaps it’s best that sometimes my feet are on the ground. Continue reading