I recently enjoyed a springtime stroll down Meadow Trail in the Haverford Reserve, near Havertown, Pennsylvania. My brother lives there with his wife and their three beautiful girls. On this particular day we spent the morning playing at the coolest park I’ve ever been to (Nice one Haverford!), before crossing the street to enjoy the wilderness for a while.
Haverford Reserve is literally a huge swath of land right outside of Philadelphia. I was told by my sister-in-law that it used to be a private estate, but the owner gave it to the city to be used for recreational purposes. Some of the land was turned into a city park, some into sports fields, and some into well maintained hiking trails.
Now, I’m accustomed to the alpine flora and fauna of the Wasatch Mountains in Utah, so the newness of the trees, and especially the vines and flowers was shocking to me. I don’t know what I expected exactly, but since I basically live in a forest, I figured I knew what one looked like. Apparently not.
Here my niece is holding a lovely yellow flower that’s a relative to the buttercup. I’ve never seen flowers like that at home. Below my sister-in-law Michelle is literally swinging on a vine, Tarzan style. They hang down from the branches of twenty foot tall trees and are strong enough to swing on…sometimes.
Michelle easily tested her weight on the vine and then swung like a pendulum. It was so cool, and naturally I wanted to try. When I did, I soon realized I’m not the vine swinging type, because immediately after lift off the vine broke in my hands and I fell to the ground, hard..onto some thorns. Not only did my now bloody hand and backside hurt, but so did my pride. Thanks for that, Tarzan vines! I’ll never try that again!
I brushed myself off and we continued on our way, but unfortunately our hike on Meadow Trail was prematurely cut short. About a third of a mile into the hike Big E announced, “I have to go poo!” Those of you with preschool age children will recognize the urgency in that statement. We returned to the car as quickly as possible and luckily made it home in time. I was sad to leave, but grateful for the chance to see the wilderness so close to the city. Everyone needs a little green space in their life.