Warm before the storm ▲
Wednesday, March 5
Monday the temperature dipped below 20 degrees and the roads were icy and treacherous. Sunday was a different story. Less than 24 hours before the deep freeze, Mike and I were walking the dogs under bright, warm, early spring sunshine.
We are scheduled to close on our house this Friday and I wanted to visit a few parks near our neighborhood. About 9 miles down the road from our place in Suffolk is a little spot called Bennett's Creek Park. There are boat ramps, fishing docks, wide open fields, and a Frisbee golf course. The Frisbee golf course is woven amongst the trees along the banks of Bennett's creek. It's also a nature trail, so Mike and I took Bella and Boomer for a walk there. Bella took a quick dip in the creek before we started exploring. There are high cliffs and low lying inlets, thick with mud at low tide. It was beautiful but fairly crowded. Everyone was out enjoying the unusually warm weather, especially with the threat of snow looming in the forecast.
We walked for maybe a mile, winding between the pine trees and dodging the occasional Frisbee. A group of golfers yelled "FORE" and I watched a purple disc land clumsily in the reeds a few feet in front of me. We headed back to the car after about an hour. There were too many people around to really enjoy the afternoon with the dogs, so we left. At least now we know the park is there.
I wanted to check out one more place before heading back to my mom's house. The Great Dismal Swamp Wildlife Refuge is just a few miles in the opposite direction from our new home, so we drove through Suffolk to the Jericho Ditch entrance. According to a historical marker in the gravel parking lot, 9-mile Jericho Ditch was dug by slave labor in the early 1800s to provide access to Lake Drummond.
A trail runs parallel to the ditch - it's a long, straight, flat path. Boring by all accounts but deserted and unspoiled by people. We walked the dogs for a while until deciding to turn back and head home. Because the ditch is home to all manner of nasty creatures, like venomous snakes and ticks, we couldn't let the dogs run free.
Once we got back to my mom's house I checked the weather. The wind had already picked up and the temperature began to drop. The next day we would get snow.