April 24, 2016

Clark in April

Frankie was pretty tired today, hung over from a very busy yesterday.  We started the day volunteering at the Earth Day clean-up organized by the Downtown Committee.  One of the meeting places is right outside my office, so a contingency from my company always represents.  This was the third year Frankie and I have joined in, and it is a great experience, if a little depressing - because the garbage is continuously replenishing.  It's an impossible task.  Good for a kid to develop an understanding of why it is important not to litter, though.  Then yesterday afternoon was an epic three-hour knight themed birthday party, with much simulated sword play and endless running around.  Asher's father made "swords" from cardboard tubes wrapped in tinfoil and decorated "shields" from corrugated cardboard.  The kids loved every minute of it, and wore themselves out completely.

Still, it was a gorgeous outside today, and the woods were calling...  loudly!  I decided we'd have a lazy morning at home, then take a short hike at Clark Reservation after lunch.  It is close to home, and we haven't been there in a while, plus it has that pesky playground, which can be a selling point for Frankie.  And the wildflowers!  It is a beloved ritual to visit Clark Reservation in April to see the spring ephemerals.  We kept the walk short, 1.6 miles total, but made a loop that incorporated both our favorite trails, the Switchback Trail and the Pulpit Rock Trail.  After scrambling up the Pulpit Rock, Frankie declared that the hike needed more climbing.  I've got to get this kid back to the mountains! 

showing Kanga and Roo a trillium he found
squirrel corn (Dicentra canadensis)
white trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)

hateful stone dust has been applied to a few trail sections, diminishing the charm significantly
long-spurred violet (Viola rostrata)

the Pulpit Rock Trail
perfoliate bellwort (Uvularia perfoliata)

sharp-lobed hepatica (Anemone acuitloba)
blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides)

climbing the Pulpit Rock

lyre-leaved rock cress (Arabidopsis lyrata)
early saxifrage (Micranthes virginiensis)

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