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Get outside and enjoy the end of summer.

IronweedWe had a great hike around Kendall Ridge, Maryland on this past Thursday. I bet you have never been there. It was a 2 mile walk – part of the 120 miles of paths in Howard County. It was 1 of 10 walks I am leading this year for the Columbia Association.

The woods have changed so much over the past few weeks. Dark green canopies cover the paths. Noonday cicadas drown out all human noise including the airplanes, and Joe Pye, Ironweed, jewelweed and golden rod offer a bit of color.

Grape.360Part of the difference in the woods or the edges of the woods is the result of the vines taking over the forests. All the trees were magically draped with vines climbing up 10, 30, 60 feet covering trees of all sizes. We saw a range of grapevines (fox, summer, riverbank, etc.), Virginia creeper, poison ivy, English ivy, cut-thumb/mile-a-minute, porcelain berry, honeysuckle, and trumpet vine.

It was a special walk along boardwalks reaching across streams, floodplains, and engineered wetlands. We saw stressed sycamores and locust trees, lots of black walnuts, and a series of dying ash trees. It was interesting to envision what life must have been like pre-colonization, and after Daniel Kendall received his 400 and 500 acre land grants back in 1701 (Kendall’s Delight and Kendall’s Enhancement). The forests are recovering as are the streams and a whole host of flora and fauna, including many native and non-native species. It is a seldom visited path that extends sound from the Kendall Ridge Pool. Go try it one day. You will forget you live in a city.

Take-a-way: For a list of future hikes this fall visit this schedule of events. Don’t leave the trails just to the PokemonGo searchers!

Explore Columbia on Foot in 2016

lake kitt walkersHere is the CA walking itinerary for 2016. SAVE IT!!!  As I did last year, I will be sharing stories of the history, the natural world, and the future of the places we pass. Please note that two of these walks are on Saturdays and the rest are on Thursdays. They all start at 10 am. Last year we had a great turnout for each of the walks. Come walk and meet your neighbors as we all explore Columbia on foot in 10 new and exciting locations. (more…)

#Optoutside on Black Friday

Think outside...no need for a boxDon’t shop! You don’t need it.

Go outside! Connect with others and the natural world.

Check out these blog posts: Top Ten Hikes in Howard County, MD  and Best Places to Visit in Howard County, MD.

Take-a-way: There are a lot of neat places to visit in your own backyard so go check them out and take a friend.

 

 

Another Columbia Secret Place – Come Explore River Hill

MPEARiver Hill does not have a lake, but it was supposed to have one – the largest one planned for Columbia. It was nixed by the Army Corp of Engineers and as a result, and with plenty of lobbying by Al Geis, we have a wonderful natural resource called the (more…)

Lake Elkhorn’s Past, Present, and Future – Join me for a Walk on Thursday Aug 20th

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Lake Elkhorn is my favorite lake to walk around. I have done it 3000 times. I have written about it in both of my books and on previous blogs. It has so much to offer and there is so much to see. I invite you to come take a walk with me this Thursday at 10 am to discover the past, the present, and discuss what the future might be like (more…)

Why I Lead Walks

10750456_846729972034157_2158244128098822421_oI love walking through the woods, along streams, and around lakes because there is so much to see and discover. There are eagles, osprey, beaver, turtles, and a host of herons. There are old foundations, overgrown driveways, and ancient trees. I feel like an explorer finding new bits of (more…)