One Last Trip: Part 1

Hello and welcome back to the blog! I took one last trip to Haw River State Park and wanted to reflect on it a little bit and share with y’all.

I’ve become more and more familiar with this park with each time that I come to visit and explore. Yet, I still am fascinated by the subtle beauty of the place every time I visit. And somehow, I always find something new that catches my eye or I learn something new about the land. This time was no different.

The previous times I have traveled the arduous 2.3 miles from my house to the park, the weather has been mostly unpleasant: cold and sometimes even rainy. Also, I always visited bright and early in the morning. I decided to switch it up for my last trip. I visited close to sunset, close to park closing rather than park opening (8 PM vs. 8 AM). Also, it just so happens that the weather changed from a chilly and dead winter to a warm and alive spring.

With spring in full swing, the Haw River State Park had more visitors and I was no longer the sole explorer of the terrain. It was a pleasant sunny evening while I was there, but a group of middle schoolers (I’m guessing they were in middle school) also decided it was a good day for a field trip. Although they were quite audible at the beginning of my trek, once I traveled further along the Piedmont Loop Trail, I felt like I was in my own secluded world again.

I begin to walk down the trail, begin to focus on my surroundings, begin to forget about everything else. As I walk, all I see around me are trees upon trees upon trees, like a sea of green has engulfed me. Then, all of a sudden, I notice a pop of color. A bright purple tree (which I later found out is a redbud, I think) sticks out like a sore (but beautiful) thumb amongst the sea of brown trunks and green leaves. It was nice to finally view some new and unique trees, aside from the typical oaks and pines I had seen from my previous trips. I was not expecting to see anything quite like this on the trail, so I was very surprised and ecstatic to observe the colorful side of nature.

A (sideways) view of the redbud tree at Haw River State Park. Photo by: Me

I walked up closer to the purple tree to get a closer look and take a photo of the magnificent tree. Then I heard a faint “buzz” sound. I started to look closer and closer when I finally realized the noise was coming from a group of bees crowding around the tree. I began to play a game of hide and seek with the insects, trying to find them crouched behind the individual flowers. Attempting to capture a photo of them with my zoomed-in camera was a strenuous task, and I realized I should not always be trying to capture the perfect moment on my phone. It’s impossible. Nature is not there to be my photogenic model. I don’t think you can see the bee in the photo I got. And if you can, it’s really blurry. So enjoy my good photography skills:)

A close-up view of the redbud tree, Cercis canadensis, with a bee flying near the flowers. Photo by: Me

This is just one of the many lessons I have learned throughout this project. In the next blog post, I will continue my journey around the park, sharing more information I learned and more reflections.


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