Saturday’s rewards

There’s this sort of game I play with myself so that I can get things done that I don’t really want to do. Most weekends it’s cleaning the house and doing the grocery shopping. Today it was a visit to the dentist and grading mid-term exams that were on the *don’t really want to do* list. So in an attempt to balance out the negative emotions involved in those two activities, I spent a few hours after the dentist wandering around a state park that I don’t often visit.

It’s a very urban park, but with a nice mix of habitats – a sample of the more southern pine barrens forest with lots of pitch pine and a dense stand of Atlantic white cedar, plus the upland hardwood forest with beech, black birch, red and white oak and old growth white pine. There’s also a fairly large bit of salt marsh and a freshwater marsh that I can admire from the Garden State Parkway at 70 mph as it passes through the park.

The trails were very wet; that was the only tangible sign of spring that I found today. No spring azures, no fiddleheads, no skunk cabbage or hint of buds on the mountain laurel or swamp azalea. It’s supposed to be very easy to find pink lady’s slippers here and trailing arbutus, but I’ll have to go back later to find those beauties when spring isn’t just in my imagination.

I came home to the stack of mid-terms happy to have had a few hours out, but disappointed that I hadn’t found more to put me in mind of the coming season. Maybe it’s just as well that I don’t catch spring fever quite so soon. There’s still six more weeks of students and papers for me to contend with.

12 thoughts on “Saturday’s rewards”

  1. I play similar games with myself. I am not always successful at it, however. Glad you got out for awhile today. I had fun in my own front yard. The birds were going wild today! Too much fun!

  2. that’s awesome that you were able to make the unpleasant a little more pleasant by getting out for awhile. i need to do more of that. 🙂

  3. You did what we all need to do sometimes. Get away and look for something more uplifting than *papers* to grade. I like that photo, Laura. You do so well with a camera. Enjoy the rest of the weekend and I hope you see more “green” soon!

  4. Glad you found time to carve out doing something more on your *want to do* list before tacking the chores. Lovely photo…. spring is coming… hold on!

  5. Oh, pink lady’s slippers – now that is something to look forward to. I’ve never seen one out in the wild. I can’t wait to see what grows in 1000 acre swamp once I’m able to walk in there again without sinking up to my eyeballs in the mud. I’m glad you were able to get out today. You have to have fun at least once a week, IMHO.

  6. I’ve only seen pink ladyslippers once, a few years ago at Itasca State Park in northern Minnesota (headwaters of the Mississippi). We searched the park trails and wooded areas, no luck. Finally we found a beautiful clump of them at the edge of the nature center parking lot!!

  7. Laura–your camera work and the way you work with the image (on Photoshop, I think you said previously) has inspired me to try some experimenting.
    As for getting away from what we have to do, that is so necessary. Fortunately, I have no mid-terms exams to grade–don’t give them, therefore don’t have to grade them.

  8. I love fiddleheads.-I’ve eaten them on many spring fishing trips when staying at fishing lodges in maine, but never dared to gather my own.

  9. I’ve been doing the same thing sort of…
    When writing for my National Boards Teacher Certification becomes too monotonous, I reward myself with a trip outside to photograph, garden (or both) for a short while.

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