Today made for a very sunny day, followed by a beautiful evening and sunset. I had the chance to take my dog, Ozzy, out to one of my favorite spots to go for a late summer's walk: the levy that runs along the river. I have a special way to get here. The entrance is a bit of a local secret...you have to drive all the way to the end of a rural road, past a cemetery full of born-in-the-1800s tombstones and then hang a sharp left to find it. Once you get out on the levy, you cross fields of marshlands full of grasses, wild flowers, snags, giant thistles, willow trees and all sorts of critters. Today I spotted a giant toad, several ducks, a beaver and its dam, and an otter hopping into the river from the bank across from me. In times of heavy rain, these marshlands are meant to hold excess river water to help prevent flooding in the valley. The further you walk, the quieter your surroundings become until you find some true peace.