October 17, 2017
70 degrees F and sunny
Our final day of the first Woods and Wetlands session was not only beautiful but included a surprise adventure! I brought out a little booklet that Mrs. Wells found in an old filing cabinet in her office last spring and gave to me. It was created by Lakes teachers in 1978, when I was only 5 years old. The booklet was all about the Lakes nature trail and the hand drawn map showed areas we had no knowledge of! The kids were excited to try to follow the map and figure out where these places were and whether we could find them. We set out for Martin Pond, unsure if we would find a trail there or not.
The kids were so respectful and quiet as we edged along the back of one property owner’s yard (with permission) and we stopped now and then to consult the map and figure out where we were on it. Then we saw it – the trail continued farther back into a woodland we had never seen before. We were all a little giddy with anticipation of what we might find. We entered a wetland unlike our usual swamp area. It was so pretty back there and the kids were enchanted right away. We could see that the trail was heading toward another yard and then I noticed a stake with a bright ribbon, likely marking a property line. By that time we had to turn around anyway, but most of the kids walked back through the water rather than on the path. They splashed happily through in their rubber boots, chatting and showing each other things that they discovered as they sloshed along.
We did not find Martin Pond that day, but we will go back sometime and keep looking after I make sure we have permission to go farther past the property line. I did notice when I drove past that area the next day that there is a Martin View road and guessed that this was or is a family name.
We took a group photo and then said good-bye for now, but the woods and wetlands will be there (we hope!) and Woods and Wetlands experience will continue with two new sessions.