My friend, Jinny Mae, was recently blindsided by a dreaded diagnosis. It has slowed her down significantly, but today she was with me in spirit as I walked along the Homestead Trail/Gallie Trail at Heald and Bradley Pond Reserve in Lovell, and then headed to the summit of Amos Mountain.
What would Jinny Mae see? That became my mantra along the way. I love to explore with her because she makes me slow down and take a closer look. She asks questions. She is incredibly knowledgable about the natural world. And even more so about the historical context of our area.
So . . . this one is for you, Jinny Mae.
It was a beautiful afternoon and the mosquitoes were almost non-existent. I felt Jinny’s presence in the breeze that kept the biting insects at bay.
And I knew the Interrupted Fern would draw her in for a closer inspection.
As would the fertile frond of a Cinnamon Fern–and a dragonfly.
She’d love the juxtaposition of a young Bracken Fern beside an older one.
Then there was the wooly texture of the Common Mullein leaves begging to be caressed.
Jinny Mae and I have explored these foundations before, so I needed to stop by again.
And I knew that she’d marvel at how this hemlock tree has grown among the rocks and bricks.
The Homestead Trail comes to an end at the handicap-accessible picnic area. And here the Amos Andrews Trail begins.
It’s a bit of an uphill climb, though not steep. For Jinny Mae, I’m thinking positive thoughts that her experience will be uphill all the way. Chin up, girl. You can do this. You’ve already amazed me with your attitude. May I strive to be half the person you are.
There’s more to see like this Maple Leaf Viburnum,
the three-angled seed pod of Wild Oats,
flowering Indian Cucumber Root,
and a young American toad.
At last I reached the summit.
Again, I looked around and wondered what Jinny Mae might see. Despite its camouflage, I knew she’d find this walkingstick insect. The woman has eagle eyes.
Maybe a more apt description is dragonfly eyes–with 30,000 lenses, they can see all the way around.
Not to be overlooked, a damsel fly.
Wandering about, I found Wild Strawberries
and Raspberries in bloom.
But I saved the best for last. Wild Red Columbine. I can hear Jinny’s happy sigh. I was going to pick it. Kidding.
She’ll be happy to know that I arrived back at my truck three hours later. Another three hour tour–somehow that always happens when we explore together, so I knew for sure that she was channeling this hike.
Here’s to you, Jinny Mae. I know you would have seen even more than I found along the way, so I can’t wait to hit the trail with you again.