During the past month, I visited the Scottish Woods area of the greenbelt several times to hike with my dog. I was told about a new trail that ran along the ridge of the greenbelt for a couple miles before cutting back down to Barton Creek, so I decided to check it out one Sunday. Fortunately, the day happened to fall during one of the warmer periods during a somewhat bipolar February, and it was just over 70 degrees when my dog and I began our hike. It was early evening so the sun was still fairly high in the sky, and as I walked along the trail I kept catching flashes of sunlight through the dense brush along the ridge. Eventually, I came to a spot where the trail was clear and a boulder stood up by the side of the trail. I jumped up on the rock to see if I could get a look out over the greenbelt, and found a beautiful panoramic view of the entire area. I can’t believe I forgot my phone on this occasion, but will be sure to visit the same spot next month and post a photo in my March blog.
I have been taking my dog, Lucy, to the greenbelt and different natural spots around Austin since she was a puppy. It’s fun to watch her romp through the grass and run around, she seems perfectly in her element when we’re at the greenbelt or Red Bud trail. While we were down at the greenbelt another time during February, I was watching her bounce around the trail and trace smells in every direction. As I was watching this, I remembered fragments of a quote from Leopold and later went back to find it. The excerpt reads, “my dog does not care where heat comes from, he cares ardently that it comes”. This seems to be a perfect expression of the way that my dog enjoys the outdoors, effortlessly and without naturally. She doesn’t have to think about why she enjoys being there, she just knows that its her element. In my last blog I talked about how I have always wondered why I enjoy the outdoors, but watching my dog run around and reflecting on this quote, I’m starting to realize that it really doesn’t matter why. It’s enough simply to enjoy it.