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A Late-Winter’s Walk

daffysTomorrow is the first day of Spring. The bright sunshine and brisk air draw me out of my  cave for a walk around Lake Elkhorn here in central Maryland. No kids, and no companion with me today except for the life along the trail. I take many long breaths of the cool air full of essential oils from the trees and soils, trying to rebuild my immune system from the rigors of a book tour.

The crows escorted me all around the lake. I usually don’t notice them, but today they are busy. A couple of red-shoulder hawks call to me from the trees and a couple of buzzards are cleaning up debris at the edge of the forest.

The magic of the day comes from taking a close look at all the brilliant mosses, yellow and green, and surrounded by sporophytes – ready to release their pollen into the gentle breeze. Buds are everywhere on the trees and I enjoy the blooms of the snowdrops and daffodils that have spread out into the buffer along the water’s edge. I notice that the invasive lesser celadine ground cover starting to bloom as well.

There is only a single pair of Canada geese left on the lake and a few scattered ducks (ring-necks, buffleheads, and hooded mergansers). Quite a change from the dozens of waterfowl we had just a few short weeks ago.

Only a few people are out today. I’m hoping that everyone will take the time to walk their favorite trails and once again fall in love with nature. It’s all about taking care of the places we love and we have a long way to go to learn how to live in balance with this amazing and probably unique eco-system, this climate, that we call home.

 

Ned is the author of The Big Melt.


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