Triad Park is beautiful any time of year. During the winter, although the trees are bare, you can still smell the crisp air and hear birds chirping. Luckily, the chirping of birds is a natural luxury that remains all year long. One of the most fascinating times to walk the trail at Triad Park is during the transition months; those between summer and fall, or winter and spring. It is specifically fascinating to see during the transition into spring because seemingly-dead limbs erupt in greens and pinks, giving a sense of rebirth to an already thriving forest.
Around the area of the creek, Dark-eyed Juncos tend to hang out in the branches of the smaller trees. The Junco hyemalis is an adorable small bird who appears to be almost as playful as the Carolina Wren. Dark-eyed Juncos are a species of sparrow and are one of the most common birds in North America. This fact is surprising given that I rarely spot juncos around the Triad Park area. It’s always a fun experience to see them.
While the juncos are jumping around trees and other wildlife prepares for the water months, trees such as the Virginia pine appear virtually the same throughout the year. Pinus virginiana, as science cleverly calls them, are a species of tree that are common around the eastern part of the United States. What makes these trees fascinating around Triad Park is that they are a preferred roosting space of the Pileated Woodpecker. Whenever I spot the tuft of red on the woodpecker’s head, the bird is usually someplace on a Virginia pine. What I love so much about evergreens, in general, is that they retain color whilst other trees become barren during the colder month. Perhaps this is why birds such as the Pileated Woodpecker are so fond of pine trees.
Triad Park transforms numerously throughout the year, as I have already stated. When winter takes a bow and allows spring to, well, spring, what first becomes glimpses of green and pink become fireworks of leaves and petals, painting a patch of land that was previously lacking color. This is what makes springtime at Triad Park so memorable. It is also a reminder that life is still bustling during the winter; that so much is going on behind the curtains that many people dismiss as “death” or “depressing.” Winter is one of my favorite seasons because it is a reminder that new life is always on the horizon, and that something that looks dull is can be pretty exciting if you pay enough attention, and look past what you can see.
What makes spring different from the excitement of autumn on the trail is that the new growth of spring is a reminder of the return of lusciousness to the forest, whereas autumn represents the decline of it. Despite autumn being my favorite season, spring is special around Triad Park because I am reminded that new growth is coming, and will be staying until the air gets a chill once again.