Lake Raleigh

by - April 02, 2018

It was a strange collision of events this weekend - the start of Spring Break, full moon, Easter, and April Fools Day. After a long, cold winter, we were eager to enjoy the warm air. Late Sunday afternoon we set out to explore the woods near Lake Raleigh on Centennial Campus. Joe and I first ended up near the paved greenway trail after following bad directions, but we eventually navigated to Centennial Magnet Middle School. Only a few paces into the woods, we came to a foot trail. Back in 2004 or 2005, I took a wetlands course with Dr. Jim Gregory, and on one of the field trips we took this same foot trail to observe forest vegetation and how as we descended down to the lake, the vegetation began to change. The woods mainly appeared dormant, but as we started moving down towards the lake, we came across wild ginger, ferns, and mayapple. 

Of course, while I was geeking out over the vegetation, the boys were digging for awesome rocks in the roots of fallen trees. I wish the boys had access to this type of exploring every day of their lives. I know I personally feel more awake and more connected getting to observe nature. Part of the reason I obsess over the backyard at our house, is that I want to bring in an element of discovery just out the back door. When we moved into this house, there were pine trees and poor soil and a smattering of neglected generic shrubs. There is now more diversity in our yard than most, but it is still no substitute for going out into the woods. 

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