Taking a ‘trip’ to drink in some nature

One day this past week on my way to the coffee station in the office — a place for caffeine infusions for those of us who still do the morning cup of joe, high test, beverage thing — I took a “trip.”

My foot connected with something other than the office carpet, and I did one of those not-so-graceful “oops” dives, thinking I’m going down in what would be a classic “You’re On Candid Camera” moment.

Only my thought was — not that I’ve tripped in public and in front of my co-workers and, gosh, I’m embarrassed — but wow, this could be the most “vacation” I’ll have this year when it comes to “traveling,” not counting guilt trips, of course. If I could cash those in for frequent flyer miles, I could be doing some serious globe hopping.

But as a rule, I am not a go-here, go-there, cruise, drive, fly and see-the-world kind of person, which makes me and Better Half a perfect match in that respect. We are two his-and-her bumps on a log, content, for example, to watch nature from the vantage seat of the back porch.

There’s plenty of it.

And it would include hummingbirds that are persistent, positive and persevering.

Last summer I had hanging baskets of wave petunias on the back porch, and the hummingbirds were regular visitors, but such flowers are high maintenance in my book, requiring way too much porch sweeping of the dead flower droppings and too much dead-heading or whatever you call that to keep the flowers flourishing and looking fresh.

So this year, I opted instead for impatiens, which hummingbirds apparently don’t like, but they must have bad memories because they keep returning just the same, expecting a different outcome. They have to be seriously disappointed between that and approaching my baskets of fake flowers that look really good only to discover that, yikes, these are imposters.

We’ve had our share of chipmunks and squirrels running around, and I’d have to say we’re always cheering them on to safety, given “Herald” the cat is chronically in chase-and-destroy mode.

I love my cat, but I don’t want her to be victorious in such pursuits. We care about Alvin the chipmunk’s well-being. Ditto for “Rocky” the squirrel.

A fox has made an appearance now and again, not very interested in stopping for a visit. I think we’re good with that.

The deer are creatures I never grow tired of seeing, although people who grow corn probably don’t share my enthusiasm.

There was a turtle moving at the speed of a turtle through the pasture recently. I spotted movement out there and wondered now what could that be. It was turtle alright. A regular one. Not a ninja.

And of course the bats come out at dusk. They’re not messing around. They’re on a mission, it seems.

So was I. But now that I’m at the end of this week’s column, I’m done with nature and tales of my “trip.”

(Kiaski, a Richmond resident, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at jkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)