I went for a 3-mile walk today — my first walk of anything other than negligible distances since injuring my Achilles tendon 3 months ago. It felt good to be out on the greenway where I’ve walked regularly since early last Fall. It was like seeing an old friend. But, because we are more than 6 inches below average in rain right now, it was also odd seeing how things have changed. The creek is still flowing; the water levels are controlled by the water company. Although the reservoir is down several feet — enough to leave some boats literally high and dry — the creek hasn’t dried up yet. However, the swampy area adjacent to the creek, the place I called the duck pond where there has been water since I noticed it last October, was completely dried. Gone are the turtles, ducks, geese and fish. The bottom is dry and cracked. The water plants are nowhere to be seen. In their place are wildflowers, sturdy specimens that apparently don’t need much water.
I wrote about this place last winter when I foolishly crawled out on a fallen tree to get the right framing of a shot (See To Boldly Crawl for Springtime photos) . I wondered then how deep the water was. I walked up to the tree today, suffering a few minor scrapes from thorny brush on my way to the dry pond bottom and uprooted tree. The bottom of the trunk is at my waist. Had I fallen into that muck last March, it looks like I would have been about hip-deep!
While certain things from the life of the pond have been lost, others survive — even thrive. There is lots more Queen Anne’s Lace than I’ve seen before. The Black-eyed Susans seem abundant too. Since they don’t bloom until their second summer, I expect that I’ll find more closer to the shore next year, when the water comes back. The cornflowers, with their pretty blue blooms and scraggly stems, are around but the blooms aren’t plentiful.
And, as always on a public walkway, there are things lost and found that aren’t part of nature. I would not have noticed the key as I was walking, but I was curious about the tulip tree leaf on top of the milemarker. I couldn’t believe that it had just landed there. As I approached, I could see that it had been placed there intentionally. Not sure that it will help the owner find the lost key, but it could happen.
I didn’t take my camera with me when I walked this morning, so these were taken with my not-quite-a-rotary-dial phone.