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LRCC Conservation Journal

by Allison Larme

August 25, 2023

While lollygagging around in the woods, you walk past a fern. You barely take note of it, as you are focused on getting to the volunteer workday worksite you are leading, but it notices you. If a fern could talk, it would say, “Hello.” With their delicate green arms that reach out and glide against your legs as you walk along the trail, they subtly let you know that they are there. They are so thin that when the sun hits them, they appear to be glowing, joyful that the light has reached their fronds. When you see groups of them together, they trick your eyes as they crisscross against each other, and it reminds you of the 3D lenticular cover of “Ripley Believe It or Not” Special Edition 2010 cover.

Red Hill Conservation Area ferns

While dillydallying along the trail, your foot trips over a little sapling stump somebody didn’t lop quite low enough, and you go flying forward. You catch yourself because you’re used to tripping on the beaten path, but it still humbles you and makes you think more about where you put your feet for the next few minutes, until you forget about it ‘til the next tripping hazard contacts the toe of your boot. If that little sapling stump could talk, it would say, “Hey, you missed a spot,” sarcastically. Then down your loppers would go to snip it as close to the leaf-ridden floor as your loppers will allow you to silence the mocking remains of the baby maple.


While gallivanting in the forest, you are looking for a nice sized rock to put as a stepping stone to make the trail more accessible. You pick one out, and as you dig around it, you come to realize it is larger and heavier than you expected. You grab your rock bar to pry it free from the ground, exposing the soft soil beneath it. If a rock that you took from the ground could talk, it would say, “Hey, what’s the big idea?” until you give it a new purpose by moving it to new soil and tucking it into bed, so people and animals may cross the path without getting their feet as muddy or wet on the new and improved trail.


While frolicking through the trees while you’re property monitoring, trying to find the next boundary, like a lost child looking for their mom in Target, you finally see the red mark on a tree that indicates you’ve made it. All is well until, with your peripheral vision, you see movement on your arm. It’s none other than an inchworm who’s taken the easy route and chose you to be their metro rapid transit to this new location. If an inchworm on your arm could talk, it would say, “Yes, thank you, you can drop me off here.” Scooching along the depths of your arm until you place it back on a tree it’s never been on before, in a site that would have taken it days to get to.

We often look past the things we see day to day as they may seem insignificant, but when you get the chance to stop and think about them, your day may just get more interesting.