Well, we went up to the rail trail in Sanford today–just past the bridge on M30–lots of the usual flowers. Bouncing Bet, Flowering Spurge, Bee Balm, Black-eyed Susan, Evening Primrose, Wild Parsnip and Queen Annes Lace were prolific.
Along the sides of the trail, still unmowed since the flood, were the homes that washed away in the dam break. The sides of the trail are very steep there, behind the Dollar Store and before the bridge. Whole houses, parts of houses, even the walk-in ice chests from filling stations were piled in with the huge logs of downed trees. Paths were plowed in the foliage on the sides of the trail and tables, fences, decks were piled on top of them. Debris was still in the trees at way above head height on the rail trail. Very sad. I won’t be going to the area behind downtown Sanford any time soon.
I have been wandering through the Cook School Park with the dog on a daily basis. I have come to appreciate the diversity of plants in lawns that don’t get irrigated and artificially mono-cultured. English and Common Plantain, Heal-all, Black Medic, White and Red Clover, White Sweet Clover, Creeping Charlie, Crabgrass and many other plants make themselves at home and grow well. They keep the area green even in the heat that would kill lawn grass and are cool underfoot. They don’t need much mowing as the water shortage keeps them short. In the shade of the trees across from the park, the wild area is home to many native grasses that get to about 2 ft and then bloom. The deer have been nesting in these at night. There are occasional bursts of color with the now deep purple curly dock and the occasional Oxeye Daisy or Black-eyed Susan. The birds and small animals seem perfectly content with the mix. Maybe that should be a metaphor for all of us. Perhaps we can learn from the plants that grow without out help and that feed and shelter our wild friends
Stay safe and look to nature for beauty every day.