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Exploring the sights and (peaceful) sounds of a new destination at the end of the work week – Water Works Park, just south of downtown Des Moines – previously unbeknownst to us even though it is a mere twenty minutes from where we live – was an exercise in discovery and exhilaration.

A quiet woodland setting, a rustic bridge crossing a swiftly moving current, bike trails intersecting at various points and a path with a view to the stables where I took riding lessons a few years ago, cardinals and deer and squirrels and red-headed woodpeckers, redbud trees in full glorious bloom, the burst of green all around us punctuated with lovely purple violets, that amazing fresh air – and then this.

In the midst of a slight clearing, this simple swing suspended from an old tree, seemingly erected for no other reason than the joy of providing that childhood rush of rising and falling, gathering speed in the open air, legs reaching higher and higher – just for the sheer fun of it all.

Indeed, serendipity at its finest.

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Traveling the gravel roads that circumvent and intersect the bike trail route we rode this past weekend, my husband and I enjoyed each new sight and discovery we made as the road turned this way and that, as we crested every hill and as we drove throughout the countryside, including this broad vista where four-legged beauties quietly grazed.

Sunday drives, sometimes associated with days long past, are a leisurely pursuit ideal for ‘hunting’ with camera in hand and my best friend at my side.