— by Anne Reed
Today we went for a walk.
We weren’t leading a program, or assisting on a field trip. We weren’t removing invasive plants or trimming back brush around trail signs.
We were scouting the Marsh trails, trying to devise a different way to mark them other than names on signs. We scheduled ourselves to be out of the office for the morning on and headed out and just walked.
But by the end, though, it was more than a walk.
I’m not sure if you experience this but for me, getting out on the trails leaves me feeling rooted. Grounded.
Walking with someone and sharing that experience, the feeling of just being that you get when you get outside, it fosters conversations. And if you are alone, it makes for great conversation inside your head.
So what was unique today?
As we rounded the bend on the Pine Flatwoods trail, we saw mud.
MUD. GLORIOUS MUD.
Why did that mud make us so excited, so giddy?
Because that means our water is coming back. That means that water is flowing south and if we are seeing it at the Marsh trails, it will slowly make its way through the Corkscrew Marsh and on down to Bird Rookery Swamp. Rainy season is whispering its arrival, teasing us with a few showers here and there as the humidity creeps up.
We’re ready to recharge.
We read and say, all the time, that we need water to recharge our aquifer.
Being out there, though, and really seeing it – that’s something completely different. As we walked and we had actual stretches of water to walk around, there was this feeling of anticipation. Not just within myself, but all around. As if everything, from the sawgrass to the trees to the wildflowers, was holding its breath, ready and waiting for those beautiful afternoon thunderstorms to sweep through and bring growth, renewal.
In a way, May is not just a recharging time for the lands within the CREW Project, but a way for us to recharge as well. Our busy season is over, traffic is lighter and as the temperatures creep up, everyone slows down.
Today was just one of those rare days when sunshine, good company, a nice breeze and little bit of mud were the the prefect combination to leave us feeling grounded, rooted and a bit recharged.
Want to see this what we saw today? At the Marsh Trails, take the Pine Flatwoods trail to the Alternative Marsh Loop, to the Observation Tower, then out to the Popash Slough.
We do need a lot more rain, but it does feel nice to see the water slowly making its return.