After the long drive to our forested land, we had an appointment which ended up lasting the entire morning with a representative from the the Missouri Conservation Department.
I was grateful for the need to move around that much after sitting and driving for so long the previous day.
As we walked and learned more about our land than we even knew to ask, I became more and more aware of just how good it felt to be back in Nature.
This was Nature we had not seen before since the trees were bare of leaves, a season which we usually spent in various public and private school teaching assignments.
We saw ridges and valleys and several kinds of oaks, sassafras, dogwood, black locust, young and old trees, and beginning vegetation on the floor of the forest.
We even saw the pink flagging tape we had put up during the time of extreme leafiness, last summer, to mark a 150 foot perimeter out from our current covered deck.
At that time, we could not even see where we had flagged once we walked back to our deck, the leaves were so thick.
During this season, we will be able to walk it and add more flagging tape so we can begin to create a contoured path farther out in the woods.
We have more information about the soil types on different facing slopes, and what will grow there, how to conserve it and how to develop it.
There is a lot of work, but all of it will be rewarding.
Step-by-step, we will keep learning more.
We will be part of a natural area that nurtures us as we nurture it.
© 2015 Kathryn Hardage