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  • Writer's pictureSusan Fleming Morgans

Enchanted forest; imaginary friends

Updated: Nov 9, 2019







What’s more restorative than a trek through the woods with a good companion, human or canine, on a sunny fall day? (Or maybe you prefer going solo, an escape from people and projects that conspire to keep you indoors.) In any case, a walk in crisp November weather when you don’t need more than a fleece pullover and light boots to stay warm and dry is a treat that won’t be repeated until spongy green grass replaces fall’s crunchy ground cover and trees sprout new growth to fill in the patches of blue sky autumn’s falling leaves reveal.


My favorite place to walk, usually with my German shepherd, is Bird Park, a “passive park” left largely in its natural state and intended for relatively peaceful activities such as dog walking, bird watching or mushroom foraging, rather than pickup sports, playground activities and other active pursuits. Several nice, easy trails wind through the acreage, thanks to the municipality and the efforts of Scouts and conservancy volunteers. Rustic steps, railings and gravel on the paths help people negotiate the steeper slopes (which aren’t very steep). Best of all, the trees that have died a natural death have been felled but not removed, and if they fall and block a trail, the path is cleared for safe, easy passage.


As I walk, I typically stop to gaze up at the bright blue sky peeping through fall's calico canopy of orange, magenta, rust and green. Seeking a chance of pace, though, for the past couple of weeks, I have forced myself to look down, and have had fun getting to know the many intriguing tree stumps that populate the undergrowth. Admittedly, I have an overactive imagination, but these hollow, lonely remnants of oaks, locusts, elms and maples have become my walking companions—and my dog doesn’t mind when I stop to say hello and take their pictures.


Here are a few of my new friends—some happy, some sad, all a little odd. You might see something (or someone) entirely different in the stumps, if you stroll through Bird Park. Or try looking at your surroundings from a different vantage point, wherever you love to walk. Hurry up, though. Winter is coming. Get out and enjoy November.


Here are a few of my Bird Park friends—what do they look like to you?


1. Laughing whale...


2. Big frog, little frog...



3. Sputnik (or maybe a Viking)...




4. Clawing hand...



5. Yawning alligator...



6. Conquered Castle...




7. Wayfarer resting with a dog at his feet...



8. Cowardly lion...



9. Birds in flight...



10. Watchdog...




12. Heroic World War I Horse


If you see something different, post your comment!


Whether you look up or down, enjoy the last days of fall with a walk in your favorite woods!



4 comments

4 comentarios


Beth Evans
Beth Evans
12 nov 2019

Love this, Susan. I walk there with my dogs a lot and now when I see these spots I will know what to name them. Thanks for sharing.

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dsfdela
10 nov 2019

I walked to Markham every day across the creek and up the hill through "The Woods" (which was later named Bird Park) from my house on Vernon Drive. Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow nor hail could keep us from climbing that mountain (long before there were steps up that slope). In the spring, summer and fall, my friends and I would play at least a part of almost every day in the woods, frequently assaulting the large hill on top of which sat the Christian Scientist Church. This was long before that hideous soccer field was built into those beautiful woods, In the spring we would sail model boats along the roaring creek which was fed by the mel…

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beckon1
beckon1
09 nov 2019

From “the house” at 141 Vernon, we watched our kids climb up through Bird Park on their way to Markham. On icy winter days it looked like they were ascending Mt. Everest...they would climb a few feet and slide back a few feet. Often, the crossing guard would give them a hand for the last few feet.

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nebnp
08 nov 2019

Though I can’t get out to view all the beauty this season brings...I can certainly appreciate and enjoy just this article, and I can especially gaze in awe at the spectacular/imaginative photos!

Thanks! Nancy Bies

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