8:37 to 9:22 AM. A Walk Around the Panhandle.

Clear September mornings are full of light.

Not long after sunrise, we saw sunrays change dewdamp to steam.

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Water turns to vapor.

It was a good time to take the morning walk we’d been thinking of.

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Remnant dew dotted church fence pales.

We pause for a message from our sponsor…

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There was a lot of morning traffic on the road.

No path on the side, either, so we turned off into Whiting’s field for relief.

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Over the ogee lines of a hedgerow, on a ridge in the distance, we could see the bleached tops of dead oaks in the Woods’ woods.

One of the spruces in Norman’s tree farm has died.

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Over on the Agricultural Hall roof, what’s that?

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Too big for a crow.

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What’s that buzzard doing, parked on the ridge up there?

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We turn onto the next leg of the Panhandle. Dead trees by the hundreds are to our right.

Many of these oaks died when the worms and drought hit them between 2005 and 2008.

Since then, the understory plants have thrived, from the sudden influx of sun.

All along this half mile of the walk is a monument to ancient labor.

A stone wall.

Directions for building a stone wall are simple: “One stone over two, two stones over one.”.

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No motors, no fossil fuel powered equipment built this wall. Every one of these stones was moved by human and animal power. Aid was provided by the basic machinery of levers and inclined planes.

We pass the Middle Road turnoff.

To the left is the “Fort Moon” field.

One of my favorite fields in all the world.

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A little farther along, on the edge of the Duys’ place was something growing in a maple.

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We spent quite a while admiring this fungi.

Then we heard the siren call of second breakfast.

We picked up our pace, turned on to Music Street,

turned again on to the road home.

We went over the river,

through the woods,

and past grandmother’s house.

To home.

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