I decided to take my walk after lunch today instead of late afternoon, as is my norm. I had raked pine needles while the girls lunched on the porch between lessons and I simply couldn't go back inside.
I either take the trails behind our house on my daily walk or I enjoy the meandering, hilly streets of our neighborhood. Today I opted for the streets. Many were out working in their yards as I passed and I waved, as usual. One man in particular had 20 or so bags of pine needles he had collected. I commented on working the same job just this morning and we chatted as I passed by his rocky landscape. But then he added to the conversation, "Hey, you know there is a mountain lion right over there, right?"
"Um, behind me?" I asked casually, trying to not totally flip out.
"Yeah, there behind Dave's house," motioning across the street.
"You need to be really careful out here this time of year."
And so begins the waking of our forest. And my walking with a stick. Is it shameful to carry pepper spray around your neighborhood?