Reub´s favorite short hike
Hiking trail at Peuma Hue

Hiking trail at Peuma Hue

My favorite start of the day is to take the dogs on a short, easy hike full of beauty and interest.

The trail winds gradually up through an old-growth hardwood forest where the tall trees admit dappled sunlight between their massive trunks. I am happy to be in the comfort of a largely undisturbed forest, and interested to learn the trees and undergrowth from unfamiliar phyla evoke a familiar sensation. These trees are deciduous yet evergreen, their shed leaves form a soft duff on the forest floor. In the spring especially, though in the summer too, I listen for birds’ songs, often recognizing the family, and increasingly the specie. The chatter of many birds in the canopy announces a flock of parakeets, flying wood chips the presence on a Magellanic woodpecker, the repeated warning notes as it scurries into the brush belong to the onomatopoetically named huet-huet. The dogs check back every few minutes as if to urge me to hurry along, to see more. Soon, the pitch increases, rocks scatter the path as the trail crosses a slide several kilometers long which came down some eight years ago. I always think of the noise and dust it must have created smashing trees and digging a gulley. I listen for any rumblings, though knowing there would be no escape. After crossing a rivulet and descending to the temple, this sojourn ends, for now.

In this half hour I have passed through forests new and ancient, heard and maybe seen birds I can name, and seen an example of the dynamic geology here. The wonder of this area forever captivates me.

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