I had never heard of Rocky Fork Park until Dan and I began our quest to walk in all 19 Columbus Metro Parks. What a treasure we discovered. Not only is there a dog park there and a paved path, but nature-lovers can bask in the ambiance of a walk on a grassy path that has been carved out of a real meadow and wooded area. Prairie grasses and wild flowers lined the path, so it was easy for Dora to keep us on track. Our shoes and socks were wet in minutes, as we got there early in the morning before the sun could dry up the rain from yesterday. It was cool and quiet. A Cardinal sang to us as we walked along, but that’s all we heard. It truly was like being out in the middle of nowhere. We stopped to read the signage on a tower built for Swifts who like to make their nests in structures like chimneys. We learned that their feet are too small for perching, so they cling to vertical structures like that tower, and only one nest can be built per chimney. This loop was a little longer than a mile, so after we next walked on the paved part, I suggested we go back to the meadow for one more tour. This time, we heard frogs in the swampy area, even bull frogs, and butterflies gracefully accompanied us. We could have sung “Zippity Do Dah What a wonderful day.” No bluebirds landed on my shoulder, but the mood was just like the song. Only we were really enjoying the peacefulness. Dan sent me a few photos he took of Dora and me, but he also sent this sign about the meadow.
“This native meadow has a story to tell. From the Ice Age to the present, significant events have happened and are still happening here.
Mile thick glaciers covered much of Ohio during the Ice Age. As they advanced, they reshaped the landscape by filling in valleys, wearing down hills and moving large boulders. They created the broad and flat land of this meadow and throughout Central Ohio.
Imagine prehistoric people living and hunting this meadow. Hidden treasures such as stone tools have been revealed over time. These artifacts are evidence that people from multiple cultures lived and hunted in this region dating back 10,000 years.” It went on to name the animals and plants we might find there in each of the 4 seasons. Sounds like a good place to visit whenever the seasons change.
We also enjoyed striding out on our walk around the paved path, which is shared by walkers and cyclists. One reason we loved the meadow walk was that no bikes were allowed. But only one cyclist was a jerk and whizzed by us without a single word of warning. One apparently desperate dog had left a present on the paved path, and its owner had just ignored it. But Dan, being the excellent citizen he is, took one of our pick-up bags, and removed it from the path and deposited it in the barrel placed nearby just for that purpose.
By the time we were ready to leave, I stopped to give Dora one more drink from the portable bowl I always bring on these days. One of the photos here shows how she is enjoying it. I was ready for a rest anyway, as we had put in 4.73 miles, the longest walk so far. Stay tuned for our next adventure at High Banks.
The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living: a Daughter’s Memoir
Insight Out: One Blind Woman’s View of Her Life
Available at www.dldbooks.com/maryhiland