MINI-VACATION WAS, IN A WORD, PLEASURABLE
I pulled the car over at the first beckoning sandy path into the woods, grabbed a sun hat and pair of binoculars.
The City Council, the regular subject of this column, has been on vacation for a month. I figured I’d take a vacation, too, for a workday walk at Pleasure House Point, the 118 acres on the Lynnhaven River the city recently bought with help from environmental groups. I’d heard lots about it but never actually been there.
I considered asking a city official or biologist to join me but, hey, I’m on vacation, and I wanted to wander alone, directionless but with mysterious purpose, like a dog loose in the neighborhood.
The path passed through scrubby woods to the tidal waters of Pleasure House Creek, a shimmering expanse fringed with bright green marsh grass. The air was heavy with dank salty humidity, the kind that seems to increase lung capacity.
The wildlife was a lineup of the usual suspects, but I never tire of these characters: croaking egrets, furtive herons, caffeinated butterflies, jet-fighter swallows and dueling mockingbirds.
OK, maybe I occasionally tire of mockingbirds.
I saw a fish nip the heels of a blue crab, which artfully spun away to find refuge among spiky grass.
I considered sitting quietly in a rare patch of shade, but my inner dog wouldn’t stop the ramble; the path was too inviting. It snaked along the shoreline, eventually turning a corner at Crab Creek, an offshoot of the Lynnhaven proper. The Lesner Bridge arced into view.
I saw one human – a kayak fisherman with four rods sticking up from his boat – but didn’t hear any. Either he didn’t see me or observed the code of silence the place seems to demand. I claimed victory either way.
Turning back, I retraced my steps. A speckled trio of juvenile herons regarded me cynically before taking unsteady flight. Beyond the birds, I saw looming in the distance a young city landmark, the Westin tower in Town Center.
I’d be there in under an hour – the Pilot has an office by it – but I felt further away than that.
A lizard darted across the path. I heard the close-up beat of a heron’s wings as it took off. A buzzing bumble bee got trapped under the brim of my hat for three seconds.
The walk lasted 42 minutes, the approximate amount of time I felt I could justify for a quick weekday summer vacation. I highly recommend it.