Walking in the Woods

Walking in the Woods

A North Florida pine forest in March

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There’s a beautiful green space near my home that we like to visit when the weather is nice. Today it was 75 degrees, perfect for a long-sleeved shirt and jeans. The wind was gentle despite just howling a few hours earlier.

The remnants of winter are still around but the greening up is starting for spring. The pine trees are practically dumping pollen in drifts around the lake.

Pine pollen on the lake
Pine pollen on the lake

Early on in the walk, the path is lined with wild blackberry bushes that are as tall as we are. They are blooming and promising millions of berries to eat this summer.

Blackberry bush bloom

When the wind blows just right, you get to enjoy the fragrance of the only bloom in the forest right now. When I was lucky enough, I breathed it in deeply.

Wild blackberry bushes
Wild blackberry bushes

We walk along identifying plants and trees. I didn’t see any animals today and the birds were quiet, but the insects kept a gentle hum as we passed. In Florida sometimes the sound of the crickets and frogs can be deafening. Not today, everyone was speaking in soft tones.

lake in the green space
Lake that definitely is home to an alligator or two.
Spin is the Dutch word for spider.
Pine cones everywhere.
Pine tree pollen. These little wormy things are every where right now!
I’m walking on billions of these.

We only come across one other group in this enormous place. There’s a group of teenagers with a fire at the side of the lake. They have music playing and are enjoying themselves. Carefree!

More pollen. I’m so glad this doesn’t bother me, everyone else in town is suffering!
Rough, papery, pine bark.
Soft and feathery.
Pine roots and moss.
Pine roots and moss.

The path is soft under our feet with the exception of the frequent speed bump. The pine roots interrupt the soft path and remind you to look down as you gaze above and around you.

Pine forest
Ferns and Maple seedlings.
You feel so far away from the city.

There are tree-lined, pine straw covered paths that open to a large green space. This space goes on around the lake. Miles of paths around the lake and through for forest are suitable for walking and biking.

Hungry caterpillar.
Does this look like a face to you?

As the path opened up to where we had parked, the sun was bright again. No longer filtered by the pine forest it beat down on us to remind us that summer is coming.

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