Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Yellow-Jacket Trail

If you've read any of my books, you've soon met an animal, a pet, or a trail through the woods. Maybe that's because it's where I do some of my best thinking, and every trail I've ever followed stays with me.

When I was younger I spent a lot of time in the mountains at my grandparent's cabin. We had a trail on the sidehill behind the house filled with madrone and redwoods. One of these big redwoods, possibly scarred from fire, had a huge opening near the base. A wild cat had given birth there one time, so my brothers and I named the trail "the Kitty Cat Trail." That trail, and the story about that tree, inspired one of the events in my first book FINDING CHANCE.

There are lush woods and fern-filled trails right out our back fence where we live now, too. Here is the end of our "Upper Loop Trail," coming home with the dogs this morning:

And we have a narrow short-cut trail that we often take leading over to our neighbor's logging road. It was a convenient cut-off, until suddenly I was stung on the hand by a yellow-jacket as I went through. Ouch! My hand swelled up, hurt like %$#! for a couple of days and then itched for two weeks!

Sure enough, the nasty pests have a huge hole in the ground right where we walk, and until they go dormant in the winter, I'm not traveling that way anymore.

But of course that led to a name, and so forevermore, this path has now been dubbed "The Yellow-Jacket Trail":

What brings you inspiration in your daily life?

Do you have favorite trails? Do you name them?


Laura Marcella said...

You live in a beautiful area! Nature is inspirational to me, too. There's so much to see and wonder about, and even if you walk the same trail every day you'll see something new. It's amazing!

Patricia said...

I just had to read your story because of the way your words reeled me in. Loved it.

Linda Benson said...

Thanks, Patricia - I appreciate it!

And Laura - yes, everyday brings something new to marvel at - a baby rabbit running across the trail, a huge maple leaf, a spider in its wondrous web, or just some rustle in the bushes that excites the imagination. This evening the bushes were all mashed down around a blackberry patch, and I seriously think a bear might have been in there. Yikes! ;-)