Sunday, May 9, 2010

hikes not spent alone

I took my friend C. out to the Antenna Farm today, and at her encouragement we walked down an ATV trail that I hadn't previously explored, which went through a very pretty birch woods with several small hills and valleys. At the pond, C. heard a pied-billed grebe (something I certainly wouldn't have been able to recognize by sound alone) and later saw a swamp sparrow. In the woods, there were many trilliums in bud (none blooming yet) and many blooming strawberries and yellow violets; a few anemones were flowering, and we saw one stalk of sessile bellwort. But look what else C. found:
Bloodroot! There were about 10 or 15 leaves, but no evidence of flowers or fruit, so either it hasn't flowered yet this year, or it's still too young to flower. C. says she's only seen bloodroot in the wild out by Spirit Mountain, and I've only seen it before in private gardens. (I'm told it's in Jay Cooke, too. Everything is in Jay Cooke--except easy access to public transportation.) Some of the Antenna Farm bloodroot is growing literally mere inches away from a muddy, rutted ATV trail.

The more time I spend in the Antenna Farm, the more protective I feel about it. If the radio towers must remain, I want the land around them to have some kind of official status, if not as parkland then at least as hiking/multipurpose trails. The Antenna Farm is just a big blank spot in the map, and being located as it is in the middle of the city between several busy roads, it's a prime spot for so-called "development." It makes me worry about who owns this land and what might happen to it in the future.

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