Winter in the Woods
The Guilford college woods are a large preserved space of natural land in the middle of the city of Greensboro, North Carolina. Located on the campus of Guilford College, they provide and interesting space where wildlife meets city life and the college environment. Whether living on the edge of the woods in the campus apartments, or coming on to the open campus for an adventure through this open area, the woods allow for an interesting look in to the history of the land, as well as a glimpse in to the natural space that has been taken over by urban development.
The experience of a walk through the Guilford College Woods is drastically affected by the changing seasons. During the winter, one might be deterred from walking through the woods due to the colder temperatures. However, with snowfall comes a flood of visitors to the woods. Whether it be to view the beautiful snowy landscape or to sled down the steep hills, there always seems to be an increase of activity in an otherwise lulled period of the year.
With the blankets of snow freshly fallen on the landscape, the woods that are otherwise full of the sounds of the natural world seem to be quieted down. The sounds of birds, animals, and the trickling of the stream seem to be replaced with the white noise that accompanies snowfall. This sound is a curious one, that is hard to describe, sounding as if someone popped a bubble of fog. It is a lack of the normal sounds of the natural world, but brings with it the sound of a world weighed down by blankets of fluffy white snow. The sound always reminds me of waking up to a fresh snowfall, the news that school had been cancelled, and the excitement of the prospect of playing outside all day in the woods close to my childhood home. Hearing this sound in our woods is no different, as it still brings all those same feelings of excitement and wonderment, with a whole new space to explore in these woods.
With the abundance of tall trees in the woods there is no shortage of snowy branches, elevated high above the point of view of those below. The falling snow is captured, creating a brilliant highlight on each of the branches of the trees. The trees at the Northern entrance to the woods, by the olds apartments, widely consist of hemlocks and oaks, with a few beech trees and the majority are established. These trees stand tall, rising high above the ground below that supports so many other plants, such as trout lilies, and Quaker ladies, as well as an underbrush that consists of weeds and may apples. Plants that burst in to life as spring takes hold in the woods and surrounding areas.
With the rising spring comes fresh life to the woods and flocks of visitors. It is this time of year that the woods go in to full fledge college mode, as students venture out for long walks in the warm weather, or for bonfires on the cool nights. This is the time that students are able to appreciate the different wildlife and plant life that make up the woods while out adventuring.