Monday, October 4, 2010
On a recent vacation day from work, I went out for a long, leisurely walk around Ada Hayden park in north Ames. It was a bit on the chilly side and there was a light sprinkle, so I bundled up in my hooded sweatshirt and hit the trail that curls around the lake.
I adore this place because it's not your typical green lawn/tall oak tree type of park. They turned the old limestone querry into a restored prairie wetland.
I've had a fascination with prairies ever since my high-school science days, when our instructor made us memorize the names of different prairie flowers common in Iowa. I've forgotten most of those names, although I'm able to recognize a few of the "easier" prairie plants.
Here's golden rod.
And a milkweed that's home to a fuzzy catepillar, a sure sign of fall in Iowa.
I crossed a bridge.
Then decided to take a left at the fork in the path.
And discovered a flock of migrating birds in the pond. Pelicans, I think, but I'm not for sure.
They don't call Iowa fly-over country for nothing :)
At the end of a trail, there's a living sculpture -- willow trees that were planted, bent and shaped into a twisting cave. The trees will continue to grow throughout the years, so the sculpture will always be changing.
I can't believe fall is already here. I never want this lovely season to end.