Robert Frost would have found more to ponder had he stopped by the woods 6 months later. My favorite time to ride the bike trail is just before dusk on a summer evening. The woods come alive as the sun begins to set. You never know what you might encounter.
Tonight, as I came to the top of "the hill", I passed a snake lying in the path. The markings looked like that of a copperhead, so I stopped to check. It was indeed a copperhead, the first I've ever encountered in the wild. I hadn't passed anyone on the trail. I doubted anyone would be in danger of stepping on him, so I left him to find his own way back into the brush.
I stopped at a bench further up the trail and watched the sunlight fade in the valley below. As I headed back I saw a man walking the same path I'd ridden a few moments earlier. "Did you see the copperhead?", I asked. He told me he'd almost stepped on it lying in the middle of the trail. I decided I should do some snake wrangling and keep any other evening walkers from getting bitten. I grabbed a long stick and rode along like a modern knight on his way to a joust. The copperhead in the middle of the trail was not the same one I saw. He was smaller and not in the same place as the one I encountered. I stopped a safe distance away and touched his tail with my stick. He coiled and faced me. Since he wasn't going to just crawl away, I swept him off the trail with a gentle swish.
As I headed back down the hill a large owl glided over my head with a whisper of his wings as he passed.