Saturday, February 22, 2020
A distant distorted relative of Mark Twain (disguised as co-chair Dave) had this to tell (or two tall tale) about today’s white winter wonder:
Somewhere between 4 to 5 and 75 of us got together, if you count all the ducks and muskrats & woodpeckers. The launch at Olbrich this afternoon was a snowy downhill traverse onto the frozen tundra. I can’t tell youhow far those two co-chairs went…but they went out of sight cackling onabout nothing for at least an hour. They met up with the walking crew upthe road…or backside to the south wind. Watching the ducks nimble andpick away at what they were eating showed us a better launch for nexttime. This section, which the ducks use as a walkway to get in and outof the creek, it’s just up and over the small hill by McCormick &Commercial. Look for the ducks hanging out. They don’t give 3 quacks about the signs posted up over there.
We walked up the bike path over the noisy Aberg bridge into the Starkweather Woods, where it becomes quieter, and the landscape opens up. Stories got told, wet foot prints got left behind, the day melting away. Meandering, snowballs, walks on the golf course & even hopping the fence to the airport and air national guard sure drew some attention! We all learned, it’s hard to run in snow!
The walk back was quiet & reflective. The sun soaked day, among perfect
strangers, who became friends by the time the sun fell behind the clouds. Hugging a big silver maple, back where we started. The trickster squirrel had the final words for standing too close to its nest.
A favorite mentor of Carl (disguised as co-chair Carl) had this perspective:
Mr. Dave was not intimidated by the frozen creek at the Olbrich launch…making gallant (or goofy) attempts to emulate over the frozen tundra (here and here)…finally luring poor innocent Carl into a canoe for moral (or immoral) support.
Only because Carl had a wimpy juicy cold excuse…and had nature walkers waiting up the creek for a 2:22 start…did our calm collected co-chairs abandon this adventure (for a day).
After a sweetly serene connection with the ducks at McCormick Park (and our future launch site)…five mortals (and endless immortals) ventured north of Aberg to the sites Carl previewed on 2/19 (here, here and here)…and then up the Starkweather Woods trail along the creek where we cleared fallen trees and invasive buckthorn the last two months.
We then crossed over into the rolling expanse of Bridges Golf Course (not available during golf season)…awed by the white winter wonder (here and here)
And then the “PFAS channel“
And further out on the Bridges tundra
Before ‘returning to where we started…only to know it for the first time‘
while listening to (and loving) a grand old tree (and a squirrel overhead)…in a special rebirth sanctuary (that Jeff Steele midwifes and nurtures): The Starkweather Legacy Sanctuary.
Magic & miracles were flowing & flying on today’s 2/22.