Thursday, September 22, 2011

Monocacy Creek Walk

These are the weirdly soft burrs that got all over my clothes.
As I mentioned yesterday, I went on a nice little nature walk with K. The weather was cool, yet clear. We wanted to check out the trail along the Monocacy where it is near the freeway entrance. The reason is that we've suspected this little old lady of being a renegade gardener... we've seen her along this bit of land, harvesting things, and probably planting things. The area was rife with flowers this summer, and not flowers that you normally see along the side of the freeway. I had also thought I'd seen a squash growing on the chain link fence there, and wanted to get a closer look. So we did.

I know it doesn't look too exciting here, but that's because most of the flowers were on their way out by this time. I wish we'd stopped sooner, because it was evident that the old woman we've seen out here WAS gardening!

There was the squash growing along the fence... rows of chives and scallions, a grove of jalapeno plants that were still growing some peppers, and an unknown plant or two that do not grow in the wild, and seemed to have some strange fruit or seed pods.

Just beyond her garden zone, I found a cool nest in a tree. It opened on the front, rather than up top. Almost like a weaver's nest, but different. The river is still pretty swollen, and there were fallen trees and broken branches all over, indicating the recent flooding that happened post-Irene. Lots of autumn clematis was blooming, and the sweet scent was a welcome respite from the boggy smells of standing water. The burrs in the photo above (next to the clematis) snuck a ride on my sleeve, my pants, and my shoes, without me knowing. They're really neat looking, though, so I had to get in there and get a picture!

The trail leads to Burnside Plantation, where the police horses are kept and fed. You can't get close to them, as there's a low-voltage fence around them. But it was still cool to see those majestic American Quarter Horses, of which my childhood fantasies were chock-full. I always wanted to have my own horse to care for and ride... they're beautiful creatures, aren't they? 

We also saw a momma deer and her fawn, off in the distance. They kept away from us, and I couldn't get a good photo. They were beautiful creatures, to be sure.

Tomorrow I'll share the amazing little garden that's on the other side... my camera phone was losing its battery charge, so I had to use K's phone to take photos. (I forgot my camera!) So once I get the photos from his camera, I can share them with you....


Celia said...

In the UK we call those burrs 'stickybobs' - very popular with chidren. Googling tells me that the plant is the burdock.

Terriaw said...

What a cool secret garden! I love how wild and whimsical it looks. Such a great discovery to check out all the treasures she had in her sanctuary.

Orion Designs said...

I love the term renegade gardener! Something tells me that the old woman would like it too.

When I was a kid, we called those things itchy-balls. Ha!

-E- said...

re your comment: did you just write me into the weekly challenge narrative? that's awesome! i can't imagine you not winning this week.

shari said...

Celia, thanks! I had no idea, actually. We didn't have those in California.

Terri & Vicki, we had seen her over there with a cart, and gloves on, and just had no idea what she was doing! It's public land, so we were nonplussed to find the rows of veggies there, interspersed with flowers. Very cool, right?

E, whoopee! I hope no one trumps me!!

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