Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Countdown to Fall
It's only the middle of August but the Back-to-School sales are running strong. The shelves of paper, crayons, pens, and yes, flash drives are emptying already. The school year now starts before Labor Day weekend which seems unfair since for as long as I can remember as a kid, that weekend marked the end of summer vacation. How does one squeeze out the last of the hazy lazy days? How about a trip to your local metro park?
Most cities have some sort of park where acreage has been set aside so that some green areas are protected and available for residents to enjoy. Even New York City has Central Park! Around Cleveland, we have a great MetroPark system and in Columbus, there is one as well. On a visit with our grandkids, we explored a section along Darby Creek this past week. Armed with a small plastic pail and a small net, we followed the creek and kept an eye out for anything interesting.
Patience was rewarded with a slew of dragonflies beating their beautiful transparent wings that shimmer in the sunshine. The kids and their mom waded into the water and looked for crayfish. A fallen tree gave opportunity to test balance as it was used to cross a small dry creekbed. Intricate spider webs caught the afternoon sun as they stretched between a couple of trees. Birds twittered (they aren't limited to 140 notes) and several leaves and nuts were added to our pail to examine more closely later.
As we came full circle back to the parking area, the kids ran for the playground equipment as we sat in the shade and enjoyed the slight breeze and fresh air on a perfect late summer afternoon.
There is still time to enjoy a few days like this. I hope you don't let them pass by.