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Monday, July 11, 2016

Walking at Hollins

I've said it before but I never tire of it. One of my favorite things about teaching at Hollins University is my morning walks. This campus, deep in the Blue Ridge mountains of Appalachian Virginia, are absolutely gorgeous.
The campus is like a snow globe - without the snow. I can't stop staring at it, especially as Tinker Mountain keeps us all in her care.
In fact, several of us make morning walks our daily ritual. Here's Ashley Wolff coming over the hill.
From the top of this hill you can see the vultures, who love to sit atop the church steeple and dry their wings in the mornings. Sometimes they can look rather ominous.
And sometimes they leave treasures to find. I gave this feather to Candice Ransom - one of our accomplished Professors who happens to adore buzzards (her license plate reads "bzzrd").
I've been spending a lot of time in the library this year, researching my PhD proposal. Don't you feel sorry for me?
Just up the hill from the church and the library is a haven for groundhogs. Can you see this one? I've named them all 'George' in honor of Bugs Bunny: "I will love him, and hug him, and call him George." Oh, how I wish I could!
I often also spot deer, rabbits, muskrats, and birds, birds, birds! Swooping sparrows, robins, and blue birds, who flash their colors seemingly just for me.
     Past the main entrance, the road runs along the path of a gently gurgling stream.
There, I often spot herons - great blues, greens, and night herons. Here is our great blue heron getting his breakfast.
Past that the road curves around...
to the soccer field.
But just beyond the soccer field, we come to the big hill, which we call 'The Widow Maker.' Can you see why? It will give you a work out!
The reward is the stables at the top...
where I always stop to rub fuzzy noses. Sometimes I even stop to groom a horse or two - it's my meditation.
Truly, these are some of the luckiest horses on the planet and I'm lucky to spend time with them.
Their view is one of the best on campus and I am lucky indeed to share it with them every morning.

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