Day 28 - Signs of Life & Golf Balls / by Edward Crim

The Central Fields were my stomping grounds today. Actually, the edge of the Central Fields were my stomping grounds today as there was a “Keep Off the Grass” sign on the eastern edge. It was a nice sign, and very polite. Something to the effect of “Dear Forest Park visitor, we’ve just put down new grass and it is hard to get it to grow and we’d hate to have to break your legs, so how ‘bout stayin’ off, eh?”

So I stayed off, looked at trees, wandered around the new pavilions there, and migrated across Wells Drive to meander the edge of the Highlands Golf Course. My meandering companion on the golf course was a small stream of water, littered with grasses and scrub trees. Sparrows chirped and flitted through the brush and a perky little woodpecker flew out from near him and landed on a close tree where he eyed me as he circled the trunk. I caught a few blurry photos before he dived back into the grasses.

I continued my walk along the grassy waterway until I found my little redheaded friend perched on a reed. This time, I managed to get a clear shot of him. Then I spotted a yellow golf ball on the other side of the stream. I had already picked up one golf ball on the other side of Wells Drive, so I walked down to a small bridge crossed the water and walked back toward the ball I had sighted earlier. On the way to get it I found the secret hiding place of golf balls and picked up ten more, bringing my total for the day to an even dozen.

The sun was thinking of putting in an appearance, and for maybe half an hour, it did. During that thirty minute stretch, the wind seemed to die down, my fingers and toes regained some sensation, and unicorns danced across rainbows. No, scratch that last phrase, I’m not quite sure how it managed to get past the editor. 

Even with the sun’s brief shine there weren’t many people in the park. I spied a few intrepid joggers, being blown about and there was a young couple on the ice at the Steinberg rink, but other than that, I was by myself on my walkabout. I found some cool shelf fungus on the east side of the prairie boardwalks, watched a drake mallard take a bath while his hen kept an eye on me. Nearby four Canada geese paddled slowly away from me.

The Victorian foot bridge has a new deck, but the bronze plaque that tells us it was built in 1884 is missing, leaving a rectangular hole in the pavement. I hope it wasn’t stolen.

Shelf fungus on a dead tree by the Steinberg savannah boardwalk.

Shelf fungus on a dead tree by the Steinberg savannah boardwalk.