Fancy Coffee Friday: …and then I looked up and saw Yoda.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, sooner or later you’ve come to realize (or you will at any rate) that I am a ponderer.  I spend most of my waking hours inside of my head, rolling ideas around.  During formal meetings at the office I have a tendency to look down at my note pad and doodle as I listen.  Informal meetings, those caught-in-the-hallway-need-your-thoughts-on-this moments, find me with arms crossed, head down.

I think best without the distractions of eye contact.  Generally, I respond with my head down, my gaze averted and with a lot of hand gesturing (I’m a “hand talker”) and arm motion, though when I lock gazes it’s my way of driving home my point or making sure I’m completely understanding a question or situation.

Outside of the office?  I tend to do the same things, and even in my day-to-day pondering and conversations with myself I continue to be a hand talker/arm waver/doodler/downward looker.  My lunchtime walkabouts at the office typically find me watching the sidewalk pass under my feet, my ears piqued at the cacophony of sounds and my nose catching the scent of whatever is in bloom in the yards I pass.  These same things apply when I’m on a hike.  While I do tend to look up more when traipsing about the woodlands, I’m a fungi fan and so I’m usually looking around for interesting specimens of which to take photos.

Last weekend, Mr. Muse and I were camping with friends in Southeastern Minnesota (more on that later) and as the miles of trails went by I discovered some minuscule red fungus at the edge of the path.  Some were just sprouting up and were smaller than a grain of rice, but I caught the blazing red color amidst the dead leaf litter.

It had been a wet week in the Midwest and there was an abundance of fungi, many of it just having grown within the last week as many varieties still had their veils attached or they had just detached.  I was hoping to see some slimes or jelly fungus with the rather damp and chilly conditions but had no luck though I did see numerous other plants flowering, a large millipede about 6 inches (15 cm) in length and we managed to catch on the camera phone a video of a spider wrapping up a just-caught fly in its web.

But down isn’t the only direction in which I allow my gaze to fall.  Mr. Muse and I spend, and have spent, a great deal of time working on improving the health of our woodlot so we look at trees a great deal.  We noticed that all of the maples along the trails all seemed to be black with a mold, mildew or fungus that didn’t appear on any other trees.  There was a massive cottonwood that was “43 Sarah Steps” around at the base or just shy of 38′ (12.66 yards/11.7 meters).  The rest of the forest appeared to have a great many trees about the same age, easily over 100 years, and little undergrowth which made walking a pleasure.  There were birds of numerous species, a huge variety of plants, and when the sun finally showed it’s face, thousands of butterflies flitted about.

And those weren’t the only treats we beheld.  Since I have a background of competing in horticulture for years when I was younger, I was asked about the identity of a variety of plants.  I was just finishing up taking a photo of a rather hilarious find in the middle of a trail in the woods (a photo for another post) when I was asked what a plant was.  I looked up, scrunched my brow for a moment as I looked at what was being pointed out and then gasped with delight.  It was a Greater Yellow Lady’s-slipper Orchid!  I was beside myself with joy at being so lucky to see a rather large grouping of them immediately next to the trail that when I heard, “Holy shit…. it’s Yoda“, I had to look up.

And sure enough…. there he was.  Considering the day had been overcast, damp, drizzly with pockets of mist and fog and a lot of boggy ground and running water everywhere – it was as if we had been transported to Dagobah.  We were just missing the bogwings.

Sometimes it’s good to look up, you might just find a pleasant surprise.

Oh great and wise Yoda, show us the way.

Oh great and wise Yoda, show us the way.

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About The Amusing Muse

Deep thinker whose mind operates at warped speed. Philosopher pondering the big (and little) things in life. Storyteller. Office Ninja. Model. Teller of bad jokes. User of big words.
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10 Responses to Fancy Coffee Friday: …and then I looked up and saw Yoda.

  1. sassycoupleok says:

    It’s amazing the peace and solitude one finds when hiking in an area like you describe. As a free hiker I think an encounter with Yoda would definitely let me know that “the force be with me” this day !! 🙂

    • lol There were two other “finds” on the trail that I’ll share in another post which I spotted when my companions had completely passed them by. Let’s just say that we got a lot of ideas about leaving “treats” behind on the trail just to give people a laugh.

      We put in about 17 miles of hiking – including a tour through part of a cave – in 48 hours time, so I was pretty sore come Monday!

      • sassycoupleok says:

        Looking forward to your share of the other finds, lol, your idea of treats sounds very intriguing !!. That was a lot of hiking for short a period of time especially if you’re not used to it. Most of the trails here in Oklahoma aren’t nearly that long. The ones I frequent are about 3 miles in and back out. Which because of the short distance makes it hard to put distance between ones self and textile hikers. Those are the moments when Yoda would be most welcome….:)

  2. Pat Meiers says:

    Sounds like the hiking was an adventure and I hope Yoda was receptive to your presence! Must have been since he posed so nicely. 17 miles of hiking would find me laying in agony on the side of the trail!

    • lol At least Yoda wasn’t elusive like a sasquatch! And yeah, 17 miles, lots of loops and in-and-outs, but with it broken up into chunks and lots of stopping to take photos (there were a few cameras along for the hike), it wasn’t so bad.

  3. John says:

    That’s hilarious!

    I, myself, have not been out on the trail (The AT heads directly through my town) in far too long . . . for the most part, I just head out to enjoy the beauty of the trail . . . though, every time, I try to make it a mission to find one plant species that I haven’t previously identified & then do some research on it.

    And, really? You’re a ponderer? You?

    • Oh really – the AT runs through your town? Now I know where I can send packages of fresh socks if I ever choose to hike that trail in its entirety.

      Now, back to the rest of your comment. Good on you for identifying and researching plants! I’m pretty good in the plant department – it’s mycology, or mushrooms (and fungi in general), that has become a bit of an obsession. The more strange the fungus, the more intrigued I am. Mr. Muse is really good about pointing out mushrooms, jellies or slimes for me if I haven’t spotted them already.

      And yes, yes I am. 😛

  4. Pingback: Fancy Coffee Friday: Go Take a Hike at… | musingsoftheamusingmuse

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