and I have been going out for evening walks around the neighborhood recently: good exercise for her, together time for both of us. Last Thursday, she had spent a stressful afternoon going through her medical records (again), trying to anticipate objections to her application to the insurance company for payout of her critical health insurance. She wanted to walk a bit farther afield, and decided we should drive out to Hog's Back Park and wander around that bit of intra-urban semi-wilderness.
It was pleasant and relatively quiet. There were some areas that felt oddly far-from-people; I tried to understand why they gave that feeling, and all that I was able to come up with was that the sound from the running water masked any other noise.
There were familes of American black ducks (I had to look them up at home later to identify them; we were pretty sure that we weren't seeing a bunch of parthenogenetic female mallards) with ducklings -- one duckling kept wandering a bit farther from its family than the others did. A few of them approached us hopefully, but we hadn't thought to bring any food for them. There was another bird, alone, which we couldn't guess about. It stood by the water for a few minutes, stretching its neck out remarkably and then pulling it back into its body, like a Muppet; then it flew off, slowly and heavily.
Eventually, twilight edged into night, and we thought we should be heading home before things got too dark for a mobility-impaired person to walk on uneven ground. As we were turning to go, I thought I saw a tiny flash of light out of the corner of my eye. I wasn't sure if it was a real thing, or a sign of Yet Another Thing Going Wrong With My Body.
I turned to mentisiterinvit
and saw that she had frozen in motion. She asked me, "Did you see that?"
Then we saw another tiny flash, then more. "Fireflies!"
She had never seen them before. "We don't have them out on the west coast."
I don't remember the last time I saw fireflies; some decades, I'm sure. Probably not since I was a teenager.
We stayed an extra half hour to watch them; they were very pretty. At one point, they seemed to stop flashing near us, but continued farther along the path, apparently trying to lead us on. We weren't going to fall for that
At some point, I mentioned the fireflies in LMB's first Sharing Knife
book, and yesterday, she started listening to the audio book. So: double win.
We'll have to go back there soon. With duck snacks. And flashlights.