Little Walks in the Prairie
After a seven year hiatus, my daughters and I have rediscovered the joys of walking through the meadow and prairie at Aldo Leopold Nature Center.
Why a seven year hiatus, you ask?
Well, it’s kind of embarrassing, but in the summer of 2002, while traipsing through the Edna Taylor prairie at the nature center with my (then) infant daughter and two oldest daughters (ages 6 and 9 at the time) we managed to get lost.
After walking in circles with two tired children – and getting mighty weary of lugging the infant – I was reduced to calling the nature center from my cell phone to ask how I could get to a path that would get us out of there.
The lady who answered the phone didn’t seem to bat an eyelash, but I couldn’t help but wonder if, after hanging up, she leaned over to her co-workers and laughed and said exactly what Bugs Bunny does in this five second video. She certainly would have had every reason to.
After this Lost in the Prairie episode, my two oldest no longer begged to go to the nature center.
I then proceeded to have another baby, started a business and, well, the nature center fell off our radar screen.
Fast forward to today and, this spring, my youngest daughters and I have visited the nature center several times already.
We’ve spotted bluebirds in the meadow and enjoy walking through the tall grass to get to the little island. Walking on paths like this reminds me of the show Lost. It reminds my daughters of Little House on the Prairie (a show they are very into right now, via YouTube).
Only today did we finally dare to venture into the prairie.
We didn’t go very far but enjoyed the shady trail. We weren’t even bothered by the carrion, low branches that we had to duck under, goose poop and mud.
Actually, that’s what I like the most about Aldo Leopold…there’s nothing fussy about it. It’s rustic and peaceful. Weeds are allowed. As much as I enjoy my flower gardens at home, and going to places like Olbrich Gardens, they are fussier places. So it’s nice to go to Aldo Leopold and feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere even though you’re still in Monona.
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