Wild Edible & Wildflower Walk in Early Spring
Use either of the above two catch phrases and you have my attention! Use both, and I’m signed up. Add that it’s taking place at a birding park? Heaven on earth for me.
But that is indeed the trip our Pathfinder club signed up for this last Sabbath! A ranger-led nature walk to see what was growing out in the park. Definitely my kind of trip!
We’ve taken these sort of hikes before, so one of my family members commented something to the effect of been there, some that.
Unless you’ve hiked this exact trail on this exact day of the year, under the exact same weather conditions, been there, done that is impossible. And, even under those exact conditions, you can walk the same trail twice and see a whole new set of wonders!
If you doubt me, simply give it a try! Walk down your own driveway or nearby trail twice in a row—I promise—you’ll see different things each time. That was a little rabbit trail, but you can still take the challenge! All nature walks are valuable, in my humble opinion.
Seven Islands State Birding Park
I didn’t count the group members, but there were a bunch of us!
Our ranger, with her little daughter tag-along, was great!
The walk was three miles of completely flat terrain, much of it paved. Contrast this with the last time we visited this park, when there were no walkways, and we had to blaze a path through the grasslands.
Since that time, they’ve build a beautiful bridge overlooking the French Broad River, they’ve installed themed gardens, and made the walking paths, complete with benches at strategic locations along the trail. I wouldn’t even really consider this a trail, per se, but a walking path. You out could easily push a stroller or wheelchair along the whole path. Indeed, we saw an older woman pushing a rollator along the path, although she looked like she was about to croak with exertion.
The trail winds along, travels beside the river, over the bridge, and loops back again. It was a low-key hike, which I would have thoroughly enjoyed had I chosen proper footwear. With rain in the forecast, I grabbed my rubber boots. Never again will I hike three miles in cheap Walmart rain boots. End of story.
Did We Learn Anything New?
We always learn something new.
A few things I never knew:
- The Yellow Trillium smells like lemon pudding! I whiffed it again and again! All those times I’ve just walked in by and not bent down to take a sniff!
- Birch trees will burn when wet! You’re in luck if you camp beside a birch tree! Added bonus that she didn’t mention is that you can also brush your teeth with their twiggy branches! And they taste like wintergreen! The Indian Toothbrush!
- Mullein may be referred to as Cowboy Toilet Paper, but it actually can cause a good case of dermatitis, so you may want to keep it away from the nether parts! It was actually used by the Quakers to have a rouge-like effect—brought about by the dermatitis that it caused when the girls rubbed it on their cheeks. Probably better blush could be found, and maybe even out in the forest!
I don’t remember every single detail, but we learned a lot of fun tidbits about plants and old ways of living, which I love.
It’s more fun to look than to listen, so I’ll quit talking and just show you a few of the plants we saw on our hike.
Go For It!
If you ever have the chance to go on a ranger-led plant identification hike, I highly recommend it! The park rangers are up on what flora and fauna are out in their particular area, and since they practically live in their respective parks, they can ferret out where the nature gems are hiding!
Seven Islands State Birding Park is also great place to do birdwatching. Obviously! They boast a great blue heron rookerie, grasslands which provide habitat for hundreds of avian species, plus abundant trees and river frontage, which provides even more habitats for waterfowl. Grab a pair of binoculars, and you’ll be in birding paradise!
The park is very open, but does have some shade. It’s a nice place for picnics, and we saw no less than eight families taking photo shoots in the grassy fields. I’d go back in the summer when the black-eyes Susans bloom for a dramatic photo op among the fields of wildflowers!
It’s always fun to get out! More-so when you can take a walk with great company!
It you have a chance—stop and smell the yellow lemon cake trilliums! You won’t be disappointed!
God is an amazing Creator!
Read more about our wildflower walks in these posts: