Photo credit: groupfortheeastend.org
There is a park where I often visit to indulge in the natural world which surrounds us. A glistening lake drapes itself on the horizon dotted with kayaks, sail boats and sea gulls.
In fall maple leaves dab the landscape with brilliant, bright, beautiful colors of crimson, gold and tangerine making crisp crunchy sounds under my feet, as I trek worn paths.
Winter’s chilled air bring ice fishing, snow shoeing and cross country skiing to a now still wood void of song birds, except for chick-a-dees bundled on empty twigs.
Spring ushers in radiant blooms adorned with busy bees, wandering butterflies and baby births: of fawns, of bunnies and much more undetected in hidden underbrush.
Summer brings tourist to camp, boat, picnic, swim, hike and to learning programs. Things like forest forging for eatables, beaks and talons, window to the universe star gazing;
education tops the list of what they offer at an expense. Once the hiking paths were rugged with thistle and briers. Now, fallen trees make way to wider paths one treads.
An educational area, lined with stadium outdoor benches, replaced a dozen or more trees which once offered welcoming shade to sweltering summer afternoon picnics.
Boaters must have complained; for now one of my favorite trails has been altered. Plans to remove the butterfly meadow and low brush woodland have already been excavated.
Throughout the 522 acre park changes continue. Some have brought improvement, like the removal of the ash trees infected with the emerald ash bore bug or the tall tower;
built on a hill in an open place for all to view the riches of wooded land. Each enduring season the forest offers something to visitor.
Yet, my heart aches at man’s improvements.
It took infinite time to form the glacial land formations which bird and mammal call HOME, as we whittle away woods which stood long before man came to improve.
Perhaps, it’s just a few acres of land where once only the padded foot steps of an occasional hiker passed through to enjoy Winter Wrens, Swamp Sparrows, Eastern
Towhee, Flycatchers, Mourning Warblers; just to name a few birds that flock to these woodland areas. I eventually will adjust and accept the the changes of my little acres,
but what about the creatures who call this their home? Will engines hum them to sleep as boat motors sing another tune; filling the air with fumes while bug and beast disappear?
I think the Skunk Cabbage tells all as it hides in the trickling brook, beyond the grasp of man. It treads water, houses insects from the frigid winds and leaves its scent for all to hope.