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I went for a hike with my grandpa on a trail through the woods along the perimeter of a lake next to their house. (Wow, could I have made that sentence any more of a mouthful?) We passed a 1.5 and a 2.0 mile marker, and I’d say we went ~ 1 mile beyond the 2.0 mile marker, for approximately 6 miles total. Now, I won’t embarrass my grandpa on a public blog BUT THERE WAS A LOT OF COMPLAINING ON THE WAY BACK. Much to the tune of “Grumble grumble grumble. I can’t believe you dragged me out this far. My so and so is aching.  I’m hungry and thirsty. This is all your fault granddaughter. If you hadn’t FORCED me to go this far, grumble grumble grumble.”

Don’t feel sorry for him, either. He was taunting me the whole way in! “Heather, I won’t tell anyone that you’re a quitter if you decide to turn around.” This all coming from the same grandfather who ended up taking us on a crazy trek through the dunes and down the beach for 6-7 hours with no food or drink or cell phone a couple years back. Thank goodness for the wild blackberries on the side of the road.

The slugs were out in full force on this hike. The first two were quite a distance from the trail and dwarfed by the gigantic leaves, so it’s more like “Where’s the slug?”  I’ll give you a hint. The first one is spotted and stumpy and the second one is long, thin and translucent.

Grandpa had maliciously played with this one, and it got all dirty in the process.

This was my favorite slug shot. See the slimy goo on the trunk? Nasty.

I will forever hold a vendetta against slugs. Back in eighth grade, there was something leaving a mysterious slimy trail along the edge of all my encyclopedias and nibbling away at the pages while I was sleeping. I eventually caught one in the act, and I had never seen a slug before so I was totally grossed out.  It was a very rainy season that year and we lived down by the river (I had to evacuate my bedroom twice due to flooding), so the slugs were multiplying in droves. One time after a particular drenching they were strewn about on the sidewalk outside my house, and I stepped outside barefoot and didn’t pay attention to where I was stepping. There is nothing more EWWW EWWW EWWW GROSS GROSS GROSS than smooshing a slimy slug to death with your bare foot. I still shudder just thinking about it.

Here’s a cute little frog we came across:

Here are some pretty flowers that were even more vibrant in person:

And here is my grandpa and I in front of a fallen tree with brilliant orange bark.

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