Monday, June 13, 2016

Name That Tree!

It was already in the 90s by the time I took a walk on Saturday, and I'd forgotten to wear sunscreen. Which is why when I found a shady side path angling off invitingly from the sun-stricken W&OD, I took the path, gladly.

It's called the Sugarland Run Trail, and it meanders along behind Carlisle Street to Elden Street in Herndon. There are frequent glimpses of Sugarland Run gurgling beside the trail.

With a name like "Sugarland," I half expected a Candyland Board with Gumdrop Mountains and Peppermint Stick Forests.

What I found instead was almost as good, because this little woods comes complete with tree labels. In addition to the usual white oaks and red maples, there were a slippery elm, a pignut hickory, an elderberry, a hackberry and others, all neatly labeled and described.

I wish all community forests did this. If they did, I'd finally learn the names of the trees I walk among, these old friends, and soon the forests of my mind would be filled not just with "trees" but with green elms and American sycamores. What a rich place that would be!

(The path looked somewhat like this, but without the leaves and with the labels.)

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