Yesterday Ben and I went for a morning walk with Bear. It was about 7:15 when we left the house. It was still fairly dark, and the park behind the house turned to complete darkness about 5 feet in. I, living here and knowing it would be dark, was prepared. Ben had an LED head light strapped to his forehead, and I had 4 cell mag light in hand (sadly, this was not as bright as I had hoped it would be as the batteries are quite old). So, lights in hand (or on forehead) we headed out into the darkness.
When we leave the house, there is a small access road that heads down toward the duck pond. I don't think I have ever actually walked this road in the dark, and to Ben I think it was a little intimidating at first. Looking at it from a distance, the road simply disappeared in a canopy of tree branches and darkness. Ben took one look at this and asked if we could walk somewhere else. Of course, I said sure and we turned around and walked over by the zoo.
The zoo is close enough that in the mornings we can hear the spider monkeys and gibbons whooping as they wake up and begin to play. Its an odd sound to hear really, as you wouldn't expect those sounds to come from a Red Wood park. Sure, you can hear birds, sure you can hear running water if you are in the right places, but the sound of primates is unexpected to the new-comer.
As we walked it was a little chilly, but the area grew brighter (actually, English grammar says I should say "more bright") and Ben's courage was bolstered enough that he was ready to walk in to the forrest. "I think I would like to go into the woods, Dad. But I'm going to stay right by your side." And so we went into the woods.
Sequoia Park is really nice in the morning. The gates to the access roads hadn't been opened by public works yet, and there was virtually no one in the park at that time of morning. Even the ducks at the pond were quiet and still. It was just two guys and a dopey dog taking a morning walk and talking about whatever a very inquisitive 8 year old could think of.
I don't know that I really have much of a point to this tale, except that it was time well spent with Ben, and I can't wait to do it again.