A Walk in the Woods: Rebirth

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By: John Griffee


Around the world, spring marks the rebirth and resurrection of what once was lost to winter. Spring holds a deep significance in a multitude of cultures and faiths, representing wholly a time of change. This sentiment of rebirth stems from the way that our surroundings begin to shift and transform in mere weeks. 

Nowhere is the arrival of spring more evident in our area than the skies. Traditionally one of the first signs of the coming season is migrating birds. As October closes thinning days with skies full of Sandhill Cranes, February and March mark their return. Alongside the return of Sandhills, American Robins find their way into our backyards once again.

Though the robins seem to disappear from our yards during the winters, only to return and mark the beginning of spring, they do not entirely vacate the area. At the height of this winter’s snowfall, when deep snow-covered most of the landscape, quiet streams and babbling brooks were still blossoming with life. 

Any visitor willing to trudge through the snowpack and brave the cold at Brandywine Creek would have found a large flock of robins. Every tree seemingly held some feathered visitor, hoping to salvage any food that remained around the area. Berry-bearing trees are generally hot spots for some of the birds we begin to see in the shift out of frigid winters. 

As the robins have moved to our backyards to begin probing for their meals, the focus on local parks can begin to shift. No longer are trails flooded with endless mounds of snow, though the grasses have become acquainted with the sensation of morning frosts. 

Ponds being fed by fresh snowmelt are teeming with life on the days where our thermometers are well above the right side of freezing. For many different types of animals, this is a time of preparation and merrymaking. Our waterways are filled with the deafening roar of amphibian habitats, watched over by the eyes of hawks and other fishermen of the skies. 

Michiana’s parks are perfect for fully enjoying the concept of what spring is supposed to bring to the world around us. Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan are home to swathes of different environments, though our wetlands are of serious note. 

Spicer Lake in New Carlisle will begin to show off its splendor, as goldenrods fill the valley along the main trail, and its small lakes become filled with lily pads and aquatic life. Rum Village’s rolling hills host hidden salamanders that thrive in the rising temperatures and moisture. Our treelines can begin to green and flowers begin to blossom as the world around us experiences yet another rebirth.  

As the days stretch in length and the temperatures level out, the parks around us are a beautiful hallmark of what makes this time of year special. All it takes to see the splendor of spring this year is a walk in the woods. 

Is there a park that you want to see covered? Email me at jgriffee@iu.edu with suggestions.

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