Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Other Side of the Bridge

In yesterday's post, I mentioned that I had crossed the Chickahominy River
via a pedestrian walkway that followed Virginia Highway 5 for some miles.
When I walked out of Chickahominy Riverfront Park, 
I was confronted with the proverbial fork in the road.
Should I go left where the hiking path extended itself a few miles along the forest, 
which was the direction all the other Park visitors seemed to be going?

Or should I go right, over the arching bridge, the direction no one chose
save a couple of serious bicyclists 
decked out in racing tights, fingerless gloves, and helmets?
I figured if I waited to try the bridge after I walked a few miles toward Jamestown Park,
I wouldn't do it at all, and I really wanted to see the river from "bird height."
So I turned right and huffed and puffed my way over the windy bridge.
The view was worth every gasp of breath:

And taking the turn across the bridge yielded a couple of small delights and mysteries.
I do like the unexpected little treasures that life often delivers if we pay attention.

For example, the first thing I saw as I trekked along the path was this street sign:

I had never seen such a street name in rural Virginia, 
and I wondered if the resident at the end of the road really had a blue cat--
I'd heard of a breed called Russian blue, after all.
 Then again, maybe the only thing one would find at the end of that street 
was someone with a good sense of humor 
or a well-developed appreciation for the quirky.
I decided to let the mystery remain and went on by.

The next unexpected thing I saw, a good half mile from the river by now,
was this empty snail shell. Apparently the escargot in residence got up and went:

At first I thought a bird had dropped it.
But as I bent down to look at it, 
I mulled over the possibility that the snail may have gotten this far 
onto dry pavement on its own.
And if so, it had plainly been a creature of intentions,
but not one with the means to realize them.
So now I had two mysteries to contemplate as I walked on.

The last thing I noticed was not so much a surprise, but it did present a puzzle.
I know these look like small daisies, but they aren't called that. 
The petals are not fringed enough to be fleabane,
but just what the plant is I don't know.
I do like how these tiny, soft white flowers with optimistic yellow centers 
have escaped the bounds of the heavy black chain-link fence.
It's another pleasing contrast.

I walked on until I could see the end of the trail disappear into the woods.
And that's where I turned around and started back over the bridge.
Tomorrow, some of the sights along the more travelled path.

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