When we got to the open field at the bottom of Pigeon Hill below the 2 adjacent higher peaks of Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, DaVinci, my Welsh Springer Spaniel, took off running at full speed around the field as he usually did in such wide-open spaces. It was a joy to watch him at his most expressive rambunctious life-loving self.
As I stood by thrilled to share vicariously his sense of freedom while recalling my younger days when I too loved running above all else, a car pulled up with a young woman who likewise set her dog free to gambol in the field. He joined mine as they became instant friends & raced back & forth after each other in sheer abandon.
I introduced myself to the young woman & we stood chatting about our beloved buddies who were having the time of their lives not only running but sharing the thrill of romping so freely with another like-minded being. Every few moments we would glance in the direction of the dogs to see that they weren’t racing around too close to the road or off into the woods.
One such glance of mine caught a sight I’d seen many times years earlier while growing up on the windy shores of Lake Erie in Cleveland, Ohio but had not seen around relatively calm Atlanta, Georgia. Across the field from where we stood, the wind had picked up a collection of leaves & was swirling them into a mini-cyclone — a dust devil! I excused myself suddenly & sprinted towards the vortex.
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As I got to it, I saw that it was a whirling wall of leaves about 4 meters in diameter. Without stopping I ran into this spectacle of nature, the blast of wind & leaves & dust hitting me with considerable force as I crashed through the debris. I was inside a mini-tornado! & yes, it was completely calm in the center where I stood, just as I’d always heard it should be.
It, however, was not staying in one place. Wiggling & jiggling around the corner of the field, it got away from me a couple of times. Each time, I caught it again & jumped back into the meandering phenomena until…