I walk a short distance to work Monday through Friday, and my eyes are always sweeping the ground around me for natural or manmade found objects that I might be able to use one day. I am a natural scavenger. Often I bring home a stray earring or a feather. Today I plucked some dried iris leaves (for making paper) and picked up a yellow plastic toy part that might make an interesting stamp pattern.

Sometimes I force myself to look up the whole way and that makes for an entirely different walk. In winter I get to see the bones of the trees and I am taken back to my tomboy days when my biggest goal in life was to climb every tree within a certain distance of my house. I was allowed to roam the woods in the winter when the snakes were hibernating, and was told once by a hunter that I nearly got shot.

When I walk through the parking lots, the sky above is empty and I get a sweeping view of the clouds and the tops of the buildings and trees around me, although the sunsets and sunrises are obscured by buildings.

The railroad runs next to my walk to work, so I get to see the graffiti on the boxcars and hear the rumbling of the wheels on the tracks.

Usually the daycare kids are outside playing when I walk by and I listen to them laugh and shriek and cry and watch them climb up the sliding board and roar like monsters.

I know where the mockingbird’s territory is and where the cowbird attacks himself in the sideview mirror of a certain car. In May, I stop to pick mulberries for snacks. In October, I gather black walnuts.

When it rains, I know where the muddiest places are and the best route to avoid them. The iciest places are in front of the church and the museum.

Once a deer with antlers galloped by me as I walked this route to lunch with a friend. There was a lot of traffic and people walking on the sidewalk. He hung a right at the corner and disappeared. I’ve always wondered what happened to that deer. I hope that he found his way.