The painted turtle was inches away from us. Instead of running away it stretched out its head and walked toward us. The turtle greeted us and let us pet her. I stroked her head gently. She was beautiful. Vivid red on her side.
After spending several minutes together the turtle left and we went on our way. A few minutes later Steve and I heard and then saw a blue grosbeak. We didn't get a good picture. They are uncommon in Northern Illinois, but not unheard of.
Seeing two rarities in the same day would have been enough, but we left Timber Ridge and went to East Branch Forest Preserve. There we saw swans. At first I thought they were plastic bags on the lake. I've never seen swans there. Now I have.
When I walk I look for beautiful things and I find them. A turtle, and a blue grosbeak, and swans all in the same day. Side benefits of the daily walk. Or perhaps they are the main benefit. I breathe in fresh air and breathe out what's bothering me. Walking is good exercise. Good for the body and good for the soul.