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Updated: Oct 25, 2018

Returning to a once-visited Natural Area, a second poochie travels alongside.

January 10, 2018

It was totally wild with black birds cackling and fluttering from tree to tree.

Waking up from a nappy afternoon, Coco and I burst out the door to catch the remnants of a sunny, warm day. Heading into Cypress Creek natural area off of Indiantown road, we pulled into the lot to park.

I quick scanned the signs to get a feel for how adamant the no pet policies were. I figured on the equestrian trail, where horses and bicyclists were permitted, it wouldn't be too impactful to wildlife. So we chose that route. It was a little after 4pm and we had plenty of daylight to get in, catch the sunset and walk back out before it would be dark. Though, its quite pleasant along this trail at night.

Coco was pulling hard, so I let him off the leash to get out the jitters. We peeked out over the initial marsh overlook, but he wanted to go. We wheeled it back around to the trail and kept it moving. We found a good foot path off the trail and went for it. It was totally wild with black birds cackling and fluttering from tree to tree. We ran right up on a Black Racer, which darted away into the brush as quick as we had seen it. I sat down and made the antsy pooch settle down and sit with me. He wanted to lunge for the birds, but I wanted to enjoy their sights and sounds for awhile. They cackled and squawked all in a loud uproar. They too would get antsy and depart from their grounds, swoop up into the air, make a loop and come down to land in a nearby tree. Poochie continue to lay perched ready for his ambush and never breaking his stare. I eventually let him give chase and he made a big wide loop, scaring off the birds and then bounding up and over the brush on his return route back to me.

Passerby's Beware..

Back out on the trail we passed by a bicyclist. Coco was off leash and I told him to stay. Told him to sit, but he was advancing towards the cyclist. The cyclist had seen him coming and tried to swerve and then when that didn't deter the lunging dog, picked up his legs and kept on casually advancing down the trail unharmed. I called out an apology and he seemed un-affected by the whole thing. I scolded the pooch, but it seems to be an ingrained habit nestled deep into his street dog roots.

By the next cyclist, I had him sit and law down until the more, slower going pedaler went by. Coco just stared and the guy smiled back at us. He wouldn't have stood a chance, but he didn't need to know about what happened to the other cyclist.

We made it to the covered sitting area just in time to catch the sun dipping low. It was lighting up the tall grasses perfectly. The sounds were buzzing and the warm air filled me with delight. I peeked at the hiking trail and saw a guy with his trail dog sniffing their way out. I nodded and wheeled Coco back around to avoid any confrontation. I went back to the seated area and kicked my feet up to watch the sunset.

Coco noticed the two making their way out and gave big, attention-gaining barks. I quieted him down and we lavished the remaining moments with the day's sun. It was in this spot that I first looked into someone's eyes and realized how extraordinarily beautiful and special they were. I remember them giving little bits of the peanut butter sandwiches I had packed in to the former poochie I brought to this trail.

He said to his sons, do you see that German Shepherd there? He's got a broken ear.

I heard a few more people coming down the equestrian trail and seen they turned in to where we were seated. There was some distance, so they were not startled by us. Coco remained calm for the father and his two sons. I waved and said hello. He said to his sons, do you see that German Shepherd there? He's got a broken ear. I laughed at this observation. It looked like they were geo-caching as they were tromping through the brush and all looking around a tree.

Our return route had the glowing sun illuminate all the ponds and puddles with its brilliant orange hue. I was looking for an air plant I had saved and set aside on the way up. It's limb had fallen off and I laid it to where I thought would be an easily noticeable, straight line of anthills going across the trail. Of course, these lines were everywhere and I thought maybe one of the bicyclists had hit it or taken it with them. They are not allowed to be taken really, as they serve to purify the air of pollutants.

Sure enough though, there it was, with its prickly arms sticking up into the air. I tried to get Coco to give it a sniff to see if he remembered it from earlier, but he just stomped on it and looked the other way. I checked it out to make sure it was unharmed and carried it out with us.

Making our way back to where the trail parallels with Indiantown, it was a rude reminder that the bustling traffic could overpower the sounds of nature. Standing with the doors of the truck open, we breathed in the final smells and scanned around for our last sights before we left.

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