Something that has me always coming back to my spot of green is its richness in culture. Triad Park is a brilliant representation of the state of our culture. Well…of sorts. So many trees. So many birds. So many frogs. The culture is outstanding! One cannot help but leave the park feeling so cultured and ready to soak it all in again! Upon my early arrivals to the space, I remember feeling awestruck at the towering trees above me, and peaceful when the gentle singing of the spring peepers filled my ears. Triad Park seriously is a sensory experience. But let’s, for now, dive into the park’s thriving culture.
The American Beech, or Fagus grandifolia, as it likes to be formally called, is one of the many species of trees that live at the park. These trees are native to the eastern United States, so it makes sense that Triad Park is plentiful with these stalky friends. Although the one in the photo looks a bit puny, the tree can actually grow to impressive heights and achieve some eye-popping thickness. From my own experiences with Beech trees, I usually catch them when their leaves have the classic post-life appearance. However dead these trees may appear, rest assured that they are still bustling with lively vigor. While I have seen some Beech with their leaves green in color, I usually walk by ones whose leaves look like those in the photo above. Nevertheless, I am just as grateful to spot a Beech as I am a graceful and study Oak. The American Beech does not conform to the law of green! It does what it wants (much like nature itself)!
Triad park is rich in its tree culture; that’s for sure. While I am looking at an American Beech or one of the Evergreens, I hear a scream erupt from somewhere. There is nothing human about it; it has too much life and composure. I look up and see a great bird of prey watching me with all the grace and readiness of a great white shark. After taking a photo (as close as I could get), I came to the conclusion that it is a Cooper’s Hawk. Much like all the photos on the internet which claim to have captured a UFO, this photo is blurry, grainy, and leaves a lot of the key information out. However, the bird’s rounded tail gives it away, try as it might to hide its mysterious identity.
I’ve named the hawk Cooper. Whenever I have lost myself in the wondrous cover the forest, Cooper swoops in, sits on a branch of some long-dead tree, and watches me. He probably is baffled at why a human cares so much about a tree, given that another one is not so far away cutting one down. I hope Cooper knows I’m an ally to him and his cousins. Cooper is like a ghost. When I am least expecting it, he lets his presence known. He’s so silent that he could be a few feet above me and I would not realize it until he flies away. I’m glad I was able to capture a few photos of Cooper before he grew bored with my presence and decided to go eat a mouse (its diet includes small mammels and small birds) instead.