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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A brief respite from the wretched stench of failure

Thanks to a combination of my utter linguistic incompetence running smack dab into an examination regimen designed for personality types other than my own, we're going to be here for at least four more weeks. This Memorial Day weekend was therefore understandably not one for celebrating, and in fact I've spent most of it sitting around the apartment in a self-defeating/self-pitying apathetic burned-out funk. I needed to get out, and thanks to my physician's cautious approval to resume physical activities other than competitive sports (not to mention some really nice weather), I made a tentative return today to the world of hiking. Well, walking, actually, but for the first time in about three months, I laced up the hiking boots and went back out on the trails, and even had my wife and daughter along for company. My career may be hanging in the balance, but at least I can still share a few photos of today's outing.

My choice for reentering the great wide world of the outdoors was the Cosca Regional Park in suburban Clinton, Maryland. Here, Amber poses in front of a pond on the way to the park's Clearwater Nature Center. And, yes, the water was clear.

My daughter enjoyed looking at the live lizards and snakes on display inside the nature center, but what really got her excited was the birds of prey located outside, many of which had been injured and were being taken care of, including a bald eagle and a red-shouldered hawk.

From the nature center, we quickly found the trail we were looking for and made our way through the foliage, serenaded by various birds as we walked along.

Cosca Lake, a man-made lake that has been around for more than forty years and is popular with the local anglers.

We followed the Lake Trail around the lake, an easy walk during which we saw numerous butterflies and geese.

My daughter spends some quality time with a new-found friend sitting by the side of the lake.

Cosca Lake isn't big by any stretch of the imagination, but the girls seemed to enjoy the walk. For Amber, the circuit of the lake ended with some quality time spent at a lakeside playground.

Like I said, it was an easy walk, covering a distance of only 1.4 miles (2.25 kilometers) round-trip. Even this left my surgically-repaired knee feeling a little sore, but it still felt good being outside again.

On the way home, we stocked up on goodies such as strawberries, blueberries, syrup and soda at a roadside bakery/grocer/nursery. Amber and I rewarded ourselves with strawberry and maple donuts, respectively.

I'm looking forward to getting back out into nature again. With the increased pressure on my shoulders regarding my now-tenuous future career prospects, I'm going to need some respites in the upcoming weeks.

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