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LRCC Conservation Journal

by Audrey Lockridge

July 2, 2024

You pull up to the trailhead and know you’re in the right spot because you see the bright orange hard hat of one of the volunteers. You gather your tools to get started with the day. Today’s trail sweep is in the Fogg Hill conservation area. The day starts with mowing a path to where the trail begins. You are suited up with your loppers and head up the trail. The trail starts out clear and not much work is needed. That is until you see the sun is bright up ahead contrasting with the darkness of the tree cover. Coming out into the sunlight the trail narrows and is nearly closed in with brush. You work together as a team; one person uses the scythe to mow, others use loppers, and finally, someone on the handsaw gets the biggest branches. This helps to get the job done in no time. You continue into the woods leaving the hot sun. The trail is steep on the ledge that sticks out from the mountain and every once in a while you slip a little but always manage to catch yourself. All four of you reach the summit and outlook and take a second to take in the views. The volunteer who knows so much about the trail needs to leave so he heads down the mountain the way you came.

You and your fellow AmeriCorps members continue by yourselves down the mountain. You find a nice spot to take your lunch break where you settle down on a nice cold rock to enjoy your meal. The coolness of the ground helps to cancel out the heat of the day. The birds sing all around and the frogs croak as you all take in the wilderness around you. Feeling refreshed from your meal and rest, you head down the mountain where there is a pond that was created by a beaver. The hard work the beavers put in to create the beautiful little wetland in front of you is evident by the beaver-eaten stumps spotting the ground.

AmeriCorps members at Fogg Hill Conservation Area

After traveling a good bit further down the trail, the group heads down a spur of the trail that ends at a bench overlooking another pond where you all sit down to take in the scene. You notice dragonflies all around and to the awe of everyone, one lands on the arm you have outstretched over the water. It takes a rest there for a couple of minutes while it is admired. As you stare at the small water bugs dart over the surface, one of your fellow members points out two tiny turtles fighting hard against the wind. Upon closer inspection, you all realize with amusement that they are not turtles at all, but rather two little lily pads floating by themselves. You finish up the trail and head back to the office. Despite the heat and hard work of the day, the little things always have a way of turning the day into something relaxing and enjoyable.