Saturday, August 6, 2011

Along the Westside Highway

      This walk was not outlined in the book, it evolved out of a desire to introduce my Grandkids to their new neighborhood. My husband and I packed up the baby in the stroller and with the other four set off up the Cove Road hill. I thought we would walk up to Columbia Lane and take the U shaped road back to Cove. I always wonder at the unique school bus shelters around town. This one was cozy and inviting as our two lovely summer days had given way to a cloudy, drizzly day.
                                                                As the road turned around two paths opened, one going back to Cove Rd and the other, well I was not sure exactly where that led. My husband seemed to know that it led to the Westside Highway but I felt turned around and reluctantly set down the hill with the stroller. The walk put us on well traveled roads so we kept watch for cars. The Westside highway offered some interesting observations. The first one being the little stream running along the east side of the road. It made a lovely sound as it tumbled over rocks. My grandson noticed the huge plants that suddenly appeared because of the marshes created by the water. They were so different from what we had been looking at. A shed was built along the road and right in the middle was a hole with a cascading stream of water.
  "Why is that water coming out of that house?"
   I could not explain but ventured a guess that this structure must have been built to channel water off the hillside.
   "Grandma, there is a pipe with running water coming out of the bushes!"
                                                            These questions made me aware of how much I did not know about water, run off, water sheds, and generally about how our town manages the water we receive in the form of rainfall. Nature was alive with the task of benefitting from our most prized resource.
 I finally recognized the road back up to my son's new home. I was getting tired. On the west side of the street a huge Maple tree caught our attention. It was covered with thick veins which, upon close inspection, were ivy branches. These vines were old and seemed to grow into the tree with the newer vines way up above. How long, I wondered had this tree hosted the ivy?
                                                                       Decades I am sure.
  "There is our driveway", the children shouted. They started to run when just a minute ago they were dragging. How can they call up that sudden burst of energy?
  "Youth may have energy, but we own the wisdom to keep going slow and steady." Wise words from a kind Grandfather who is spending his vacation with his favorite companions.

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