Before the afternoon rain storms returned I managed a long over due walk in the near by state park. Here in North Georgia we have many wonderful state parks with water falls as well as many nature reserves. Only a short drive from my house is Smithgall Nature Reserve and Duke Creek Falls. Over the years I have enjoy many a quiet walk a long the wooded trails of Smithgall with a stop at the Nature Center to renew my knowledge of the local flora and fauna. Or up the road to Duke Creek Falls, for a trek down the steep paved trail to the falls. Well, yesterday I was looking out at the morning sunlight to our still partly flooded yard and then looked at the partly finished painting that I am working on and decided it was time to return to Smithgall and Duke Creek Falls for a little exercise and artistic inspiration. So, putting on my walking shoes and bustling around the house getting ready to leave Patches started getting all excited, he has been missing our walks, too. His back legs have been failing him some in this weather, so I worried about taking him, but his excitement won out.
Our first stop was Smithgall, I took a walk along a wooded trail leaving Patches in the car for our next stop. He was enjoying the people watching of a bus load of bicyclist getting ready to tour around on their bikes. Listening to the silence of the woods and smelling the damp fragrant air was refreshing to say the least (great to be away from air conditioning). Best of all for this artist was how everything glisten in the sunlight still wet from the rains. Crossing a little bridge I could see the creek was filled and even had a kind of waterfall over some large rocks, all making for delightful sounds. After checking out the nature center to see if the owl was still living there, but I didn’t see it, did see flowers still are blooming in deep yellow and bright pink. I headed on up to Duke’s Creek. Here Patch excitedly got out of the car and was a little unsure with his one back leg. We walked slowly along the paved path, I enjoying the visa views of the mountains through the trees and Patches sniffing the damp earth on either side of the path. As we walked Patches leg improved and his joy level was a delight to see. Part of me wanted to walk all the way down to the falls, which is over a mile and then a very steep up hill return walk. I knew that wasn’t a good idea for us today, so instead we enjoyed a much shorter walk to the first observation deck and looked out though the trees to the falls. While I was taking a few photos a family came by and the two little boys wanted to pet Patches, who was happy for the attention. The boys not much taller than Patches would have stayed for quite awhile talking and petting Patches, the older one claiming he looked just like his favorite cartoon dog, but the dad soon rushed them on. Our sunlight was diming as the gray clouds started to gather and I knew it was time to head back home. Hope you all are finding things to delight and inspire you today.