Hiking, even a stroll through the neighborhood, is my preferred way to exercise. Today I remembered why I enjoy this activity.

This morning the sky was overcast, telling me the weatherman may have gotten it right, so I grabbed the granddog, MJ, and headed out to make sure she got exercise before the rain hit. The 99% humidity wrapped around me the moment I opened the door, but thanks to the early hour, the temperature was still in the low seventies.

We only made it as far as the first pond, when one of the neighborhood herons landed in the water near us. This heron, accustomed to dogs on leashes, didn’t react at all when I pulled out my phone and snapped a pic with MJ, a water-loving lab, less than ten feet away.

We continued our mosey, allowing MJ to sniff her way down the road. We stopped when a fawn darted up from another pond. The fawn froze, and then raced in front of us, crossed the road and disappeared, running into the woods. The fawn was apparently too young to check for a dog leash. 

MJ and I rounded the pond past where we scared the fawn, and I got my first look at the water. It was a serene morning — the calm before the storm — and the trees reflected off the water like a mirror.

A bit further down the road, a ginger cat we meet often sat in its front yard. It looked at MJ and then at me as if to say, “Keep that canine on its leash, and no one will get clawed.” We left the cat in peace.

Next, squirrels darted back and forth, running from tree to tree. I don’t know what they were doing, but they were doing it as fast as they could scamper.

Back home, more peaceful after my walk, I marveled at the short two-mile jaunt in my own neighborhood. I need to stroll around the block more often.