Worm Moon Hike

“The Worm Moon is the moon for March and for some it takes its name from the fact that earthworms begin to reappear around this time of year, bringing birds back out to feed. It signals the tail end of Winter and the beginning of regrowth for nature.”  Joey Rather, Clarksburg, WV

YA and I went out to the Arboretum on Tuesday night to do a Worm Moon Hike. I’ve never done one of these monthly hikes before but figured that by March, it should be decent enough weather.  The website gave scant information so I was a little surprised when we saw some folks putting on snowshoes. 

It didn’t seem necessary as we started out along the pond.  The path was clear and packed down.  Easy peasy.  Then we headed into the wooded area and while there were small luminaries, without the ambient night light, it was a little harder to see and in a couple of uphill stretches it was slippery.  I was doing OK as I was wearing boots; YA not so much in her tennis shoes.  We made it past the slippery spots, continuing in an uphill direction.  So far so good.

It was clouding over but at the topmost part of the hike, there was a lovely view of the hazy moon so we stopped for a bit to admire it.  then it got rough – downhill.  The luminaries didn’t really do a great job of lighting and downhill felt way more treacherous.  YA was slipping a bit but catching trees to steady herself.  I tried to walk more in the snow than on the path but the snow depth was not consistent at all.  In one place, I’d step off the path and sink to almost my knee.  In other spots it wasn’t as deep but the ground under the snow wasn’t even so it was tough and not much fun. 

Finally at about the 2/3 mark, the snowy hiking trail crossed the road (Three Mile Road) and to our surprise, we discovered that the road back was lit.  We both agreed that we would walk the rest of the way on the road, which was completely clear. At that point, like the first 5 minutes of the hike, it was easier to really enjoy the scenery and the beauty of the Arb at night.  When we got back to the car YA said “well, I’m guessing that’s not what you expected” and she was right.  Next year I’m just doing the road!

Any memorable hikes you’ve been on?

45 thoughts on “Worm Moon Hike”

  1. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    This year in AZ I was able to hike a bit over a mile for the first time since have my knee and hip replacements in my right leg. In Fountain HIlls there is a small, well-tended botanical garden that is maintained by volunteers. It was just the right size to re-launch my hiking career.

    My most memorable hike has been Oak Creek Canyon north of Sedona, AZ. That is my goal for the next visit to AZ.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. When living in San Francisco, I sometimes hiked with a group of people I had met at chorus practices – they called themselves the Flat Earthers, and my best memory was one we took at Mt. Tamalpias, where I remember having to navigate a low growing plant (shrub?) called… hope I remember it later.

    I also did a week-long backpack with then-boyfriend during that era in the Sierras… lots of up and downhill hiking, and I did better than I thought I would. Did turn my ankle while crossing a stream on the next to last day, but with the help of a walking stick made it out OK.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I don’t do hikes, but once my roommate and I were walking in a little wooded area not too far from the rose garden (William Berry Woods, maybe?), where we came upon three young male deer. They saw us (one of them stamped several times, trying to scare us off) but we kept very, very still. Finally they decided we were harmless and returned to play-fighting (this was early fall, so they had antlers but weren’t in rut yet). As usual, other people were walking in the same area and didn’t notice a thing…

    Liked by 4 people

  4. When the footing is more negotiable, we like to walk the trail in the Minnesota River Valley Wildlife Refuge. There’s an access point at the end of Old Cedar Road. I don’t know that I would call it a hike—it’s a 2-3 mile walk—but it’s beautiful and quiet except on the occasional days when it’s under the airport flight path.
    The paths are a birder’s haven and many of the other walkers we see have cameras with long lenses. We’ve downloaded an app from Cornell that does a great job of isolating and identifying bird song, so we discover we are in the presence of a wide variety of birds even if we don’t always spot them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s a question that I have been wondering about, too. Does a hike connote a more strenuous activity than a stroll, a trek, or a walk? Or does it have to do with where you have ventured out on foot? Your pace? Your gear? The title of Bill Bryson’s book about hiking the Appalachian Trail, “A Walk in the Woods,” always makes me smile. It seems like such a casual term for tackling such a strenuous adventure. Being familiar with Bryson’s work, of course, I know that was intentional.

      I agree, Minnesota River Valley Wildlife Refuge is a great place to explore local wildlife. We are so blessed to several such places within easy range in the Twin Cities.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. When we were in Wales and Robin was at the workshop that had initiated the trip, I had a couple of days by myself in the coastal town of Solva. I spent most of my time there hiking along the Pembrokeshire coast:

    In addition to the spectacular views, there was lots of antiquity to discover, including the ruins of several hillforts and the collapsed cromlech of St. Elvis (really!)

    St. Elvis:

    After Robin finished her workshop, she joined me for a day and we hiked the trail together so I could show her all I had dicovered.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Some of my memorable hikes have been in various parts of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. One in particular stands out, a day hike in Glacier National Park.

    Husband and I was walking on a narrow path high in the mountains, a path so narrow that it was difficult to pass another hiker going in the opposite direction. It was a gorgeous day, and there were a fair amount of hikers on the trail, though we were spaced out nicely so we weren’t exactly walking in line.

    At some point I came around a bend in the trail and stood face to face with a big horn sheep with two kids. They were blocking the trail, and that mama was big. I stopped dead in my tracks pondering what to do. There was no question that the sheep had seen me, they were no more than ten feet away. She didn’t seem particularly perturbed by my presence, and continued to leisurely nibble on the mountainside shrubbery. I thought it prudent to carefully consider my options so as not to do anything to upset her.

    In a matter of minutes, several other hikers, including husband, had caught up to me. Word was passed quickly, but quietly, to those who hadn’t made it around the bend, and who were wondering what the hold up was.

    After a few anxious minutes the sheep decided to descend down that steep mountainside. It was truly an exceptional experience to watch so close at hand these magnificent beasts in their natural habitat. I recall, at the time, being struck by just how surefooted they were – and how BIG. There was no doubt in my mind, that had she decided she didn’t want us that close to her young and attacked, we would have all been in serious trouble. Can you imagine what it would be like to encounter a bear that way?  

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Well, WP is letting me use my gravatar today, but I can’t like anything. Oh well.

    I’ve always been a hiker. It’s part of who I am. I don’t know if I could narrow it down to one best hike. If I had to, I would say that the 15-mile hike I did with two good friends in the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan was the best. It took us all day and it really was a true hike. The huge, white giant trilliums were in full bloom and the forest floor was carpeted with them. We saw my first ever great gray owl sitting in a tree solemnly watching us. We had to cross back and forth across the Little Carp River on logs that had been laid across for that purpose. The trail wasn’t clear in some places so we had to look for the diamond-shaped “blue blazes” that the Michigan Parks Dept uses to mark trails. We hiked from our Greenstone Falls Cabin to the shore of Lake Superior, where we ate our lunch and took a nap in the sun. I have a photo and a clear memory of my dear Morgan, sleeping in the sun with his arm shading his eyes. I hunted rocks on the shore. Then we gathered our resolve and headed back using a different route that avoided the Little Carp River but had more hilly terrain. And wetlands. We were wet and tired when we returned. Everything about a trip like that is done from the basics. You gather wood, build fires both in the cabin and out, cook your food over a wood stove or an outdoor spit, and gather wood for the next camper who will use the cabin. You make entries into a journal that has been left there. These are fun stories to read about the experiences other hikers and campers have had. You pack everything in and pack everything out. The mosquitoes are incredible, but so is the silence and the beauty and the songs of the thrushes in the woods. I learned to identify Eastern hemlock on that trip.

    There have been many, many other hikes. I can’t even remember them all. That one sticks out as one of the best. The company was great and the scenery was stunning. The fact that you really have to put some effort into an experience like that was helpful too.

    Liked by 4 people

        1. I have a theory. Perhaps, unbeknownst to us, we’re granted a certain amount of “Likes” when we initially register with WP, and when we have used up our allotment they’re cut off. Sounds plausible, though not very scientific, to me.

          Liked by 3 people

        2. Probably not. I like everything everyone says most of the time and most of the time WP allows me to just happily like everything!

          Liked by 1 person

        3. It’s my iPad I have trouble with too. I tried the app but went back to the website due to the new Jetpack thing. Neither the app nor the website will allow me to use my gravatar anymore, since my long absence. It doesn’t trust me now. It works better on my Dell laptop but I just don’t use it that much.


  8. OT – I’m not good at remembering jokes, and no doubt I’ll have forgotten this one in no time, so I’m sharing it here before I do.

    A guy is driving around the back roads in Iowa when he sees a sign in front of a broken down house: ‘”FOR SALE – TALKING DOG.”
    He rings the bell and the owner appears and says the dog is in the backyard. The guy goes in the backyard and sees a nice looking Black Labrador sitting there.
    “You talk?” he asks the dog.
    “Yep, sure do,” the Lab replies.
    After the guy recovers from the shock of hearing a dog talk, he says, “So, what’s your story?”
    The Lab looks up and says, “Well, I discovered I could talk pretty young. I wanted to help the government, so I contacted the CIA. In no time at all they had me jetting around the world, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders. Because no one figured a dog could eavesdrop, I was their most valuable spy for eight years! But all the flying around tired me out, and I knew I wasn’t getting any younger, so I decided to slow things down.
    I signed up for an airport undercover security job, wandered around suspicious characters and listening in. I was incredibly successful there and was awarded some honors. Then I got married, had a mess of puppies, and now I’m just retired.”
    The guy is amazed. He goes back to the house and asks the owner what he wants for the dog.
    “Ten dollars,” the guy says.
    “Ten dollars? That dog is amazing! Why on Earth are you selling him so cheap?”
    “Because he’s a liar. He’s never been out of the yard.”

    Liked by 6 people

  9. Ithaca park hikes were an annual feature of Labor Day weekends with Douglas Lodge cabins as a base. My last “hike” will be as ashes to be scattered at the Mississippi River headwaters.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. You all know I’m not much of a hiker. But I’ve spent a lot of time walking pastures checking fences or bringing the cows home and I have nice memories of that.
    Kelly and I have hiked Root River Park which is really nice, and bits of Quarry Hill in Rochester.
    Even up and down our driveway gives you a 2 mile hike. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. thanks for the information I love his work and have a couple pieces hanging up in my house. We visit a shop every time we go to Ely and I’ve met him a couple times.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. walk number one
    1974 driving the Volkswagen van up to the Canadian Rockies and after being there for about a week my partner and I decided that we would go winter camping and I arranged to leave my guitar at the restaurant that we frequented it took the van parked it, and hiked up to the spot, where our campsite would be located only to discover that all the firewood was under 3 feet of snow, and there was no way of harvesting enough off from the exposed tree branches to make it work, so after screwing around and having lots of fun getting to the campsite now it was time to try and get back to civilization in the dark because Canada in December it gets dark very early and we walked back in the dark for two or three hours to come up to the beautiful Banff springs hotel sweating like pigs from pushing it a little harder, then was comfortable in order to try and make up time because we were so exhausted when we got there, we headed for the bar in the Banff springs hotel, and that was the night that I met Townes Van Zandt and got to hang with him for the evening that night and the next night I didn’t know who it was. He was just a guy who sang a little off. Key was a little bit drunk and wrote some songs that were interesting but I didn’t consider them phenomenal. Then I started hearing them on the radio over the next couple years and looked it up and found out the Townes Van Zandt was kind of a famous guy and the songs that he was playing that I was thinking we’re only OK were Pancho and Lefty and another one that I can’t remember anymore but if I listen to Townes Van Zandt records, I’m sure I would recognize it .

    Liked by 5 people

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