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Early morning weekend summer walks in Corvallis can be so relaxing. Sure, the students are gone but it's more about the air, the shadows and the quiet. The cool, still air is refreshing. Not like the heavy sticky humid air where I grew up in Maryland.

With all the mature trees in Corvallis, long shadows abound. The sun does light up the tops of trees making them seemingly ablaze. There is no din of traffic, no leaf blowers or lawnmowers or trash trucks filling the air with harsh noise. Individual birds can be heard; some like crows and doves aren’t so pleasant but soon drift off in the distance. A dog barks as I pass their house, and one barks in the distance. Not hearing a train horn in the distance is a bit disappointing.

The walk is not interrupted by listening to music or checking email — although a photo was taken of the Corvallis Bear dressed up for summer fun (#corvallisbear).

Soon enough life’s mundane tasks will take over; chores, unsettling local, national or international news and the heat of the day under an unrelenting sun. But for now, early morning walks beat any calming app available.

Bob Hazleton

Corvallis (July 28)

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