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.
7:17 last night
“I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”
So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”
(Holy Bible, Genesis 9:13-17)
This Easter afternoon, I took a long walk with my youngest son and enjoyed the return of the color green to our local park.
Not sure what these green plants were, but they were popping up everywhere in the woods.
In other areas, velvety moss covered the ground.
Moss outlined the edge of the road as if it were mascara.
This shallow pond was full of frogs singing their hearts out.
A winding creek with more of those green plants that look like some sort of leaf lettuce.
I came upon a strange sight while doing the grocery-shopping today. From a distance, there appeared to be several prickly objects keeping company with the pineapples. Porcupine was the word that came to mind, although I knew that wasn’t right. When I got closer, I could see that it was called “Jack Fruit”.
When I got home, I went online to read a bit about it. Jackfruit is the largest tree-grown fruit, with each piece weighing between ten and eighty pounds, although they can reach one hundred pounds! It originated in India thousands of years ago, but is now mostly grown in places like Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, the Philippines, Thailand, the Caribbean, Vietnam, and other parts of Southeast Asia. Ironically, it seems to be looked down on in India as a poor-man’s food, despite it starting there.
Jackfruit has a pungent odor that some people say smells like a mix of over-ripe banana and pineapple, and others say smells like Juicy Fruit Gum. It is very sweet when ripe (skin will be yellow). If you harvest it before it is ripe, however, it is not sweet, and has the texture of meat. Some vegetarians use it as a meat substitute in dishes. Until recently, it was a food found mostly in Asian grocery markets, but now the strange-looking fruit is popping up in places like Whole Foods and mainstream grocery-stores.
Pick a library book, plop down on a chair or couch, and rest your feet on this sturdy turtle! You’ll find this guy in the couch area, crawling around the rug with pictures of books.
I loved the book they had on their coffee-table: Random Acts Of Kindness
In the background you can see their music display, which appears to be hand-crafted in the shape of a harp.
This lamp was certainly unique:
If you love a good jigsaw puzzle, you can check some out!
Feeling nostalgic for VHS tapes? There is still a small section of them here. I should add that they have a much larger section of DVD’s.
In Hudsonville, they are extremely proud of their community history. Check out this display of the 1956 tornado.
This dollhouse is beautifully made.
Every library should have a globe and wooden stand like this:
Not all of the library had that old-fashioned feel to it. Their book stacks and children’s area were extremely up to date (no dusty, outdated stuff!). This little corner, which I dubbed “the peace corner” was very inviting.
This Hudsonville Library is both classy and modern. I loved my visit to this small library!
A couple days ago my daughter-in-law’s mother stopped by to five us these free-range chicken eggs that she had gotten from a co-worker. They are different sizes and colors, and remind me of new life and springtime.
Winter can’t stay forever. The snow in the yard has dwindled down to almost nothing.
Easy to tell which direction is north.
About the time I tell myself this is the day that the last of that blasted snow will melt and we will have spring, the snow begins yet again…
Scenes from – hopefully – my last snowy winter walk.
Turkey tracks in the snow. I caught sight of a family of four wild turkeys, looking scrawny and half-starved at the end of winter. They would not stand still for a picture.
The deciduous trees are still totally bare.
The evergreens keep their green-ness year around.
Snow sometimes melts in weird patterns.