Hamilton is home to waterfalls and gorgeous trails. Check out the various trails the city has to offer from more serious hikes to casual and leisurely strolls. Many of the trails can be accessed for free or with just the fee of on-site parking.
By Emily-Jane Hills Orford
“Dad,” Mom and I exclaimed together. I reached for the seat in front of me to brace from impact.
“Why did you stop so suddenly?” Mom asked. She was bracing herself, too, hands firmly planted on the dashboard, even though the seatbelt should protect her from impact.
“I didn’t want to run over the caterpillars,” Dad answered, a gleam in his eye even though he sounded dead serious. “What caterpillar?” Mom asked in disbelief.
“The one on the road,” Dad answered, complete sincerity in the tone of his voice. “Can’t you see it?” He pointed straight ahead. “The body slides and projects its centre upwards, then slides forward again. There’s three of them, actually.”
“I don’t believe you,” Mom snorted.
“I don’t either,” I added, straining my eyes to see beyond the hood of the car. I had the best eyesight of the three of us in the car and I couldn’t see anything. Granted, Dad’s glasses provided him with the necessary vision to see while driving, but to see something that small? Crawling across the road? In the glaring sunlight? while he’s driving? Unthinkable. Not possible.
“Your eyesight isn’t that good,” Mom argued some more. “And neither is mine.”
Dad put the car in park.
“Now what are you doing?” Mom asked. “Blocking the road to protect some caterpillars no one else can see?” Dad glanced at Mom and then at me. “Oh ye people of little faith. There’s no one else on the road except us and the caterpillars. Out. All of you. I’ll show you. Up close and personal.”
Mom shook her head, but unsnapped her seatbelt. I did the same and we piled out of the car, a silent mob in the middle of a quiet country road. Fortunately it was quiet. I had to admit, this was a little embarrassing. Stopping the car and climbing out to look at caterpillars crossing the road? What next?
We walked to the front of the car and crouched down, allowing our eyes to follow the direction of Dad’s pointing finger. “See,” he proclaimed with pleasure. “Caterpillars. And they’re crossing the road. Now do you believe me?”
“And to think you slammed on the brakes to prevent the car from running over some caterpillars that no one else but you can see.” Mom stood up and returned to the car. “Unbelievable,” she muttered as she climbed in.
“Really, Dad,” I proclaimed. “They’re probably destructive caterpillars making their way to the next bush or crop to devour. You’d be doing us all a favor to drive over them a squish them. Besides, what are the odds that the car wouldn’t straddle them anyway.”
“Brilliant idea,” Dad stood up, a recognizable gleam in his eye. “I shall stop braking for caterpillars and weave the car to straddle them. Can’t be any more difficult than trying to straddle potholes in the early spring.” I groaned. We were in for a wild ride. And all for the safety of caterpillars, the ones only Dad could see, making their way across the road. I glanced further up the road and noticed more of the fuzzy critters. Yup. It would be a wild ride for sure.
Emily-Jane Hills Orford has published several books, creative nonfiction stories mostly about her family. Growing up in Toronto, then Hamilton and finally London, Emily-Jane has lots of family stories to warm the heart. In her most recent novels, “Mrs. Murray’s Ghost” and “Mrs. Murray’s Hidden Treasure”, the author returns to her roots and the fond memories and dreams, growing up in a haunted old Victorian mansion in London. For more information about the author, check out her webpage at: http://emilyjanebooks.ca