This is a walk about small things.
That’s what Scott said when we went out into the woods on a beautiful Saturday morning. The spring weather had finally arrived in Western New York — for good this time. The sun was brilliant and several times during our hike this day I stopped and broke into a spontaneous “star pose” reaching my hands to the heavens and drinking in the day. Because it was glorious to be outside in the woods.
We hit two places this day. The first was a park in Akron. Scott first discovered it years ago when he took a photography course and the class came to this site to take pictures of wildflowers. He had returned in subsequent years to see the wildflowers blooming but had not visited the spot in some time. He located it on memory which was a good thing. Although the trails were clearly marked, including some random posting of official looking “Department of Environmental Conservation Trail Markers,” the trailhead was not. There was a spot where a sign used to be. Same thing on the other end when the trail ended at the back of a school athletic field. So where we were is a mystery. But the woods, they were lovely.
We were hunting wildflowers and it was probably five to seven days too early, before they went into full bloom for their short period of time. But we were wildflower hunting and found a handful of them. Some Scott knew. Some were new. I learned trillium. To be honest that’s the only one I retained. I love to hear the information. I don’t always retain it, but stopping to hear about a tree or a flower or the mourning cloak butterfly (which we also saw) will always interest me. I don’t need to know to enjoy nature. There is no quiz at the end. (Although I once dated a guy who did quiz me. I failed miserably. He mocked me. These outdoor trips were not much fun. This should have been a big clue that this was not the guy for me to be with. Even simple wisdom is only hard-earned.)
After that wildflower hunting expedition, we moved to another location — the Joe Panza Nature Trail in Alden Town Park. Last summer I was at this park for a family reunion with my parents but we didn’t know there was a nature trail in the back of the park. That was an opportunity lost.
We walked the trail and went down to check out a creek. We hung out a bit, taking in the quiet and stillness. Scott taught me how to call a barred owl and when we heard one in the distance, we called back to it. It responded to my call which was pretty darn cool, I have to admit.
Near the end of our walk we came across a woman who was walking her cat. Have to say I’ve never seen this — a cat on a leash in the woods. The cat wasn’t so interested in staying on the trail. I couldn’t imagine this adventure was going to go well, but the woman seemed very happy and the cat, while itching to explore, seemed healthy and well-cared for.
And this in turn made me happy — seeing other people enjoy the trail in their own (respectful) way.
Date: April 16, 2016
Location: Unnamed Akron Trail/Joe Panzo Trail
Total distance: 3.5
Duration: About 2 hours
Weather: sun 40s
Hiked with: Scott