I took the dogs up to the kudzu hill this morning and was amazed to realize that the air was a good ten degrees warmer up there than either Middlewood or the shaded pipeline. It wasn't hard to decide to stay and wallow in warm sunshine, to be peaceful and draw instead of hiking first, as I usually do... definitely a good decision! Daisy and Duke ran and played on the hilltop, birds sang, red maple and yellow poplar leaves flew through the air with the breeze.
The hilltop is covered with grass now, instead of kudzu, because our neighbor has worked on the vines for years, regularly mowing, mowing, mowing until the kudzu gave up. Well, it appears to have given up, but from where I sat I could see a few criss-crossed vines pulled tight beneath the grass, tiny green leaves at the nodes ready for next spring.
But today was beautiful, the Eastern Phoebes called from the tangled fringes, where kudzu vines offer protection to sparrows, towhees, wrens, nuthatches, bunnies, deer, foxes. Daisy and Duke pushed their way through a patch of tall Johnsongrass at the top of the hill, only obvious because the purple grass plumes wiggled at the top as they passed. Crows cawed in the distance, and I slowed down for the first time in quite a while and listened.
Yep. Good decision.