This morning, I walked along the greenway that I have frequented recently both to exercise and for photo shoots. All of the foliage has disappeared and features of the landscape that I hadn’t noticed during the summer and fall are now in full view. It seems as if there is even a difference since I was last here at the beginning of January, but maybe that is only a bit of memory trickery after having been away for nearly a month.
There are some areas, close to the road and adjacent to an interstate interchange, that are nearly inaccessible when the foliage is growing. That is, unless one has a machete, which surely would be frowned upon by the parks department. I wondered last Spring if it was legal to forage on city property. As I wandered in a sandy area along the creek yesterday I thought that I should get that question answered sometime in the next six weeks. Why? Because I found an amazingly large area where there were ramps, one of my springtime favorites! Though I haven’t confirmed it, someone told me last summer that morels frequently grow nearby ramps. Not sure that I would be adventurous enough to trust my foraging skills with mushrooms, but the wild garlic I know by both sight and smell!
But this morning, in the early morning frost that was too springlike for February, it was not wild herbs or vegetables that caught my attention. Rather, my eyes kept falling upon things that had been lost or abandoned in the woods. A golf ball. A fishing line high in a tree. A child’s toy. A mitten.
And then there are the things that have been dumped; the rolls of carpet and the frame of an old sofa off of the old road have been in plain site for months. But this, which looks like it has been here for years, can only be visible during the cold, empty winter:
At first I thought it was a lawn mower, due to its size. I was puzzled, though, as I stepped closer to it, moving the thorny remnants of some plant away as I made a path to it. Maybe it was a golf cart or one of those scooters for the elderly they advertise on tv. Could it be part of a boat?
As soon as I was within a few feet, I realized that there must have been a radio on the dash. Not likely for lawn mowers, I thought. Still, because of the size, I couldn’t quite figure it out. A car would be bigger, wouldn’t it? Do golf carts come with built-in radios?
But then I saw this:
You don’t have cruise control on a lawn mower or a scooter. I wonder what happened to the rest of the vehicle. I wonder how many years this has remained here. I wonder how many people it took to move it to its resting place. I wonder if they felt guilty for abandoning it in the woods within feet from the warning signs about fines for dumping.