This time of year, I miss living out in the country most. The corn is finally greening up, the wheat has turned gold and is just a few days from being harvested, and the sweet smell of hay fills the air.

As a farm reporter, I get out of town and into the fields fairly often. But there still are many days when I’m confined to the streets and traffic lights of the city where I live.

One of my favorite “country substitutes” is taking a walk, especially in area parks and the Wooster City walking path, which is less than a half-mile from my home.

The paved path makes walking easy, and it’s a little more than a mile to get around the whole path, which adds to the physical benefits.

Nice view

But what I like most is the scenery. Although the path is within the city, it’s also an area that’s been kept fairly rural. In one part, large oak trees three-four feet in diameter are scattered about, and the squirrels love these things. And in the lowest part of the path, there’s a creek and a bridge where frogs and some small fish like to hang out.

In the morning and in the evening, the frogs make quite the noise. And I’ve seen as many as five squirrels in one tree at the same time. It’s a scenic area, and the flattest part is used for soccer fields — at least a dozen large fields where youth soccer games are held almost every day.

Like farming … sort of

On occasion, you can even spot a farm tractor. There’s no hay or corn, but the large acreage requires a lot of mowing. It’s not quite as amusing as a tractor pulling a 24-row corn planter or a 47-row soybean planter — both images which I’ve shot this year.

But, it still makes for a refreshing walk and is a healthy experience, both physically and mentally. I try — emphasis on try — to walk a couple miles each day.

I’m not a fitness freak, and neither am I a nature freak. But I’ll admit, a few miles a day help me appreciate both things a little better.

How about you

Are you into walking? Maybe you’re fortunate enough to have some farm lanes or tractor paths to walk. Or, maybe you’re like me, and you’re settling for some parks and wooded sidewalks?

Chris Kick lives in Wooster, Ohio. An American FFA Degree recipient, he holds a bachelor’s in creative writing from Ashland University. He spends his free time on his grandparents’ farms in Wayne and Holmes counties.
Chris Kick
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