Summer walks

To the Editor:

It is a refreshing experience in the summer to walk along our many Vt. back roads and see the amazing resilience of nature at work. I traveled on foot down the hill this late afternoon, deciding to take a different route than usual, and walked steadily downhill for 20 minutes, giving me a real feel for the length of the hill and also a feeling of the smallness of my stride against that hill, under a blue sky with a temporary view of Burke Mtn.

Oftentimes on my walks, I will concentrate on the poor conditions of the roadsides - the erosion, the lack of vegetation from the road crew scraping the ditches - but today I saw the sharp, grey rip-rap lining the ditch being neatly laced with grapevine and feathery horsetail and other small creeping greenery. The lotus-like leaves of colts foot, often our earliest-blooming flower in the spring, a small dandelion of sorts, is everywhere on the roadside, being somewhat invasive, but also a welcome sight among the rockery and rough gravel fissures that result from the heavy rains.

Nature is more brilliant than any human artist, when one really looks and realizes the diversity of textures and colors and shapes of the leaf patterns along the road, and early summer is the time to take a close look. The delicate green fern fronds buoyed my spirits as I briskly marched down the road to my destination at the bottom, and I felt like Walt Whitman on the open road, rejoicing in every blade of grass.

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