I’ve never been great at identifying spring weather. Anytime it ever seems to get warmer around here I immediately get amped for the warm days and fun times summer brings to the table. With the semester coming to a close and the weather warming up into the 60s and 70s, I was feeling a little nostalgic for a summer setting, often spending some weeks down in hot places with huge bodies of water, like Smith Mountain Lake and Hilton Head Island. It was a feeling of tranquility, one you get as you look out over a lake or ocean with the hot sun beaming down to make it shine, with a stench of warm, moist air and seawater ever present. While I remembered this feeling, I realized during my last trip that a large lake was located at the left edge of Price Park. Now despite the fact that this lake is technically private property, not associated with the actual park, it was still accessible through the park’s trails. So, I knew I just had to talk about it and the way it made me feel after spending a good hour just lounging near it. So I set out to recapture an old, comforting feeling and make the most of my day off from classes. To put it simply: the park did not disappoint.
As I walked down the left path and gazed out over the field and the swamp, the heat was rampant. But while most would probably find it discomforting and start to sweat, I merely appreciated the fact that we’re finally at that time of the year where heat’s even an issue. After walking just a little bit further, I arrived at the lake and just gazed at it’s beauty. The sun beamed down, creating white, shiny spots in an otherwise dark blue void in the middle of hole. Although from some angles it definitely came across more like a light green than blue, but regardless it was a familiar sight in an otherwise unfamiliar setting, which brings me into my main point of this post.
This whole time I’ve been exploring the park, a place I never had a history with before the blog began. But this entire time I’ve been exploring this unfamiliar land, I’ve been feeling nostalgic about other spots, places I’ve been familiar with for a long time, and as I fondly reflect on those places, I become more familiar with the park itself. The lake here is just the most recent example of this trend, as I find myself growing more and more adjusted, to the point where one day I’d dare say the park will fill the role of a nostalgic place from youth that I yearn to visit once more.
Now, because the lake is technically private property, I had little to resort mostly to my surroundings and only a little excerpt from the management plan to better understand its significance. From what I’ve gathered, the lake drains under Hobbs Road, connected between the Jefferson Village Shopping Center and the Hebrew Academy, the same academy that has supplied the park with numerous species of plants for the greenhouses and habitats. So the lake acts as drainage system of sorts for runoff, which would makes sense considering I saw a large drain trail on the other side of the lake, which lead under a road. But within the lake were fish as well. Despite it being a little too murky to make out their color schemes, they seemed to be relatively average in size and I was lucky enough to get a distant, blurred photo of one as it swam up to the top for a moment.
Overall, I’d say the trip this time around was very comforting. It reminded me that the end is near yet reinforced this new feeling of familiarity with the park as I let nostalgia take over and do it’s thing. I’m gonna miss this place when summer roles around but I guarantee I’ll be back to see it as soon as the new fall semester rolls around.