A Short Hike Out The Railroad Tracks.
Although I have walked out these same tracks for many years, the surrounding area has been completely changed. A few years ago the strip mines, coal silt and culm banks were reclaimed. And so a lot of places that played a part in my life are now only memories. It is still a nice walk to watch the seasons change as I walk past the ponds and wetlands and out the tracks
And it seems things change overnight in the month of May. All of the trees, even the late oaks, are now covered in their fresh young leaves. The japanese knotweed, the invasive weed that is everywhere in our area, was just poking it’s first shoots out of the ground a few weeks ago and is now taller than me. The nesting geese and a turkey hen I encountered are acting very defensive as i walked by, probably guarding a hidden nest.
And, almost as if they sprouted overnight, the lady slipper orchid or “duck flower”, as my dad called them is blooming. I love this delicate flower even more now since it so much reminds me of dad. He loved taking us along the “stripin” roads looking for these beautiful flowers and what he called the “honeysuckles” the wild pink azaleas now in bloom. They once were abundant in this area before the lands were “reclaimed”.
Always nice to walk in the woods but so much more so in the month of May when so much is going on. Here is a link to a few more photographs I took on my walk today. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-5/nggallery/blog-photos/railroad-tracks-hike-may-15-2015