Please note the use of parentheses in the title of this post. I believe this is a first, but I have asked the Murphblog archivist to double check.
Yesterday, The Wife and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. I realize that most of you probably don't care all that much, but the facts are these:
1. I use this blog as a sort of online diary, or scrapbook, if you like that better. When I am old, gray, and shriveled I may want to relive my younger years and I will be able to do that through the magic that is the Webosphere.
2. Some family and friends read this blog and they're more interested in stuff like the following than they are in my rather tedious quest to get published.
3. It's my blog. I'll write what I want.
So, the anniversary. I won't go into all the scandalous details, but one thing we did to celebrate was take a hike through a local park. This is in keeping with our pledge to get healthier and whatnot. What follows is a pictorial memoir. If you click on the pictures it'll be like you were actually there with me and The Wife on our hike. (Except there won't be any sound, so you'll miss out on some moderately clever banter, but you also won't have to deal with mosquitoes, so you can't complain that much.)
The hike started inauspiciously. That is a fork in the path, and as you can see I was utterly flummoxed. The Wife, instead of helping me decide which path to take, took a photo.
Fortunately, there was a map. The Wife was still no help, (maps confuse her) so I was forced to make an executive decision. I did so with little hesitation. It's fun to be the decider. Knowing nothing about hiking, or nature, or even map reading really, I used the same reasoning as one Robert Frost: I chose the path less traveled by and, I have to say, it did make all the difference.
But little did I know that the diverted road would be the least of our troubles. We had only just begun down the chosen route when we were confronted with this ominous sign.
I must admit to a mixture of emotions. I was curious about this "Swamp Thing" and reasoned that the arrow above the sign was not a warning, but an invitation. An invitation that said, "Come! See our excellent swamp thing!" But then I recalled that I was not at a zoo. I was in Nature. And Nature can be very scary. Things in Nature don't act like things in a zoo. The Swamp Thing could very well decide to attack me, just like those mostly docile buffalo occasionally do at Yellowstone. My curiosity gave way to unbridled fear and we quickly (but quietly) moved away. I later felt a touch of regret at not conquering my fears and investigating this alleged "Swamp Thing," in addition to slight shame at realizing that I am the type of person who will always choose the safer route if the dangerous one means risking my personal safety.
Did I mention that The Wife accompanied me on this hike? Here she is, looking entirely too unruffled about the whole "Swamp Thing" thing.
We continued onward, but the dangers were only beginning. Here, a small tree nearly felled our hero. It was only the fortuitous placement of another tree that stopped the first tree from smiting me.
But as cruel as the forest can be, it also offers many gifts. Like these mushrooms, which I was delighted to see.
Their presence and the memory of their gloriously bulbous heads fortified me for the next mile, a mile which saw us beset by hordes of ravenous mosquitoes. This is a picture of me after surviving their murderous rampage. I was not pleased.
And here is one taken in an open, mosquito-free field. Note the change in my countenance. I am also making a "V" with my arms to signify our "victory" over the rabid insects, but because my head is sticking up between my raised arms, it looks more like a "W." So I am making a "W" for "Winners!" or "Wahoo!" or "Where are you now, you little f^*%^$# bastards?"
And this is me hydrating with the new G2. Same great Gatorade taste, half the calories. Fending off mosquitoes is hard work, yo.
And finally, we reached the end of our trip. We celebrated. The following image is for adult eyes only.
The forest holds many dangerous things: mosquitoes, exposed tree roots, falling trees, Swamp Things, the list goes on and on. But it also holds beauty, like mushrooms and this little girl we saw as we were leaving.
Note: No mosquitoes were harmed during the writing of this blog post. The same cannot be said for the hike itself.