What’s your definition of a park? A playground with lots of swings and slides for the kids, and one of those merry-go-rounds that makes you sick? Picnic shelters with lots of tables, and some grills to roast hotdogs on? A place with curving cement sidewalks to roller-blade on?
I visited a very different kind of park today. It was the outdoors in its natural condition, unchanged by manicured landscaping, pesticides, herbicides, or play equipment. It was just… nature. There were several asphalt walkways near the entrance to the park, but then it changed into paths made by a lawn mower. It was like stepping back in time to what Michigan looked like before it became civilized. There were huge fields of wildflowers with butterflies and grasshoppers and bugs.
From sunny open fields, the path veered off into wooded areas with a variety of trees. Occasionally a tree would have a sign by it for identification:
We passed a green scuzzy pond that looked like something out of a fantasy tale.
Most of the park was in its natural state, with the exception of the occasional bench to sit and rest on, and the unusual sight of some stone blocks in the distance.
We hiked up the hill, through lumpy ground riddled with mole holes, but found no answer to the question of the stone blocks.
So we continued on, past prairie grasses nearly as tall as we were, trees whose branches grew almost sideways, and stagnant water pools with frogs and crickets. Then back to the car, back to traffic and noise, back to present day.