If you blinked, you might have missed it. A brief moment in time before a morning dawn when the hangers on of summer meet old man winter for the first and last time. Here the late season wildflowers in the pocket meadows dotting the Great Trinity Forest have eluded the brief frosts of November. Dodging frosts here and there these summertime plants have held out until....today. Rarely can you find nature punctuating the end of a growing season as much as a snow.
|Ratibida columnifera Prairie Coneflower -- Mexican Hat in the Great Trinity Forest|
The Great Trinity Forest, one of the larger urban forested areas in the United States is so close to downtown that one can see the sights here for a brief half hour at dawn and not even be late for work. Such was the case this particular morning in mid December. Few realize that.
|Centaurea cyanus Cornflower|
|Compositae Solidago altissima Goldenrod|
|Symphoricarpos orbiculatus Coralberry|
|Odocoileus virginianus White-tailed Deer|
The deer has cleared out a small area on the forest floor about the size of a kitchen table where he marks his territory. The dance he does half resembles that of a Pamplona Bull and a prize fighter ghost sparring with his own shadow. The scent left behind is a calling card for does and for other bucks to tread lightly.
This is one of those special places. Where the post cutter's wagons never reached. Where the land was too soft for a bulldozer to clear cut. Too far from a paved road to build a house.
The winds of change rarely shift here. When they do it is always for a quick buck at the expense of the river itself. The post cutters, farmers, cattlemen, river bargemen, gravel men, golf course owners and landfill operators. They were here. Once. They came. They lost. They packed up. The river always wins. Always.