Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Dawgwalking Refreshes Mind and Spirit

The Great Backyard Bird Count just flew by this year (no pun intended). On walks with my Superdawg II, I managed to participate on three of the four days. Most of my observations were of birds on or near the ponds.

The Canada Geese, about a half-dozen of them, were fun to watch. I don't know if they are migratory or residents, but we hadn't seen any for months. The Double-Crested Cormorants were fishing on cold days and warm alike. A Great Egret took flight for us and that was a spectacular sight. Other than the water-loving birds, we mostly saw just our usual Mourning Doves around the feeder.

Our "South Carolina Birds" book (Lone Pine Publishing) reports that thousands of Canada Geese used to visit The Palmetto State in the winter, but now many are content to munch on abundant grainfields in the Midwest. However, numbers increase along the coast and lakes as migrants return. Like Swans, they mate for life, and the goslings stay with mama and papa for up to a year.

My time to blog is limited because I am blessed with having an opportunity to increase my free-lance writing. I intend always to squeeze in blog time, though. It provides a good break from stress, and I believe for we seniors continued exercise of the mind is every bit as important as exercise for the body. Keep the mind working. It doesn't have to be writing. It could be doing crossword puzzles, or volunteer work at a hospital or school, or any number of things including birdwatching.

My aqua therapy for my back has ended. Oh, was it a delight to exercise in a cozy, 90-degree pool! If I were rich, I would have one installed. When the community pool opens in a few months, I plan to use it regularly, though I know it won't be nearly as warm as the therapy pool. (Well, maybe by July, it will be close.)

Meanwhile, I have a dynamite personal trainer -- Miss Ellie Mae, Superdawg II, who loves to walk a couple of miles twice  day. In the six weeks she's been our new family member, I have lost nine pounds. That is weight I dearly needed to shed. After losing Sadie the Superdawg last August, I had found it hard to get my walking legs back under me. The better shape I get in, the more pressure I will take off my stenotic back (narrowed spinal canal in the lower lumbar region). Exercise is definitely good for the heart, too. The one that ticks and the one that loves life.

An expected spell of rainy weather lasting four days began yesterday. So far Ellie and I have managed to walk between gentle raindrops. Tomorrow may be a challenge, however, given that the forecast is for heavy rains and winds, possibly hail, and even a slight threat of tornadoes. We will watch Doppler radar and pick our spots. Dawgwalking must not be denied.

                                               © Robert G. Holland  2016

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