It's no secret that I think public parks, especially nature preserves, are one of civilization's best inventions. Parks with playgrounds and ball fields are good things, too, but they just aren't as interesting as the miniature wildernesses in our cities. And even though places whose trails can all be traversed in an afternoon's meander aren't REAL wilderness (Aldo Leopold, one of the patron saints of wilderness preservation, said that a wilderness needed to be "big enough to absorb a two-week's pack trip" and free of all signs of humans, including obvious trails), they do give the imagination room to breathe.
Prairie patches open out at the edges of woodland.
Little bluestem going to seed catches the light,
as does the Maumee River.
A dead tree helps to nurse the forest's next generation
like these young sassafras.
October paths are sometimes covered by maple leaves,
and sometimes they just leave us wondering what's around the next bend.