Each day I spend time on our land.
The trails into the woods and fields have become extensions of our home--as if a long hallway extended through and beyond the wall, into fresh air. Without effort, I step along, ducking under a small oak branch or skirting a reaching rose—navigating with ease.
Knowing what I will find before I find it.
Fort Hill State Memorial is a National Natural Landmark a short drive from our southwestern Ohio home. A ceremonial earthwork enclosure built atop a large hill almost 2000 years ago by the Hopewell civilization, a prehistoric culture of the American Middle West, now a 1200-acre preserve.
The walls have grown over with centuries’ soil and seeds.
The people have passed.
But safe within now, is this land.
Around it-- miles of trails to explore.
Paw-paws fill the shaded understory, their rounded green fruit a Native American favorite.
From beside the darkened trail I hear footsteps in the dry leaves—and a very large black beetle scurries out of sight.
Magnificent fungi in all shapes, colors and sizes beg for a closer examination.
Collected in photographs, and studied late into the night—for much of this I do not know.
But in stretching my legs, I have stretched my mind.
Tomorrow my land will look different.
Photos enlarge with a click.
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