Take a Walk on the Wild Side


Sometimes it is well worth the risk to try something, even though you cannot foresee the results. Life is a journey with these opportunities everywhere. Recently I decided to seize the day and started to hike the West Branch and Kingfisher trails at Winton Woods. Over the years, I have grown to love this path and look forward to visiting it often. Well on this particular day there were glorious dark clouds rolling in from the west, the most likely direction of impending weather. Against my better judgment, I struck out. I was prudent and brought an umbrella thinking that I’d only see clouds and nothing more. My inner voice did not speak loudly enough to force me to turn around and miss the adventure.

Of course with the weather, no one else was on the trail, but that did not deter me. I enjoyed the first part of the course and reached the edge of the Kingfisher Trail about the time the weather was breaking. Several times on my way there I thought that maybe turning around would be best, but I chose not to. There was no lightening or thunder, so I felt urged to keep trekking.


Once in the forest, a deluge let forth from the heavens, completely drenching every bit of the landscape – including me! With my umbrella up, I felt a pulse of adrenaline and a little bit of rebellion as I was out there against good common sense. The deafening sound of the rain hitting every single leaf was truly magic to behold. Each leaf shimmered and the flora trembled with every raindrop. The pounding of the water in the forest was almost indescribable. I thought to myself, “How often do I let myself ‘take a walk on the wild side’?” After all, I was not hurt by this experience (just very wet). I felt exhilarated and grateful for the rare opportunity. You can find them, too, in Great Parks if you look for them!

Susan Sumner, Naturalist