The Spring Juggernaut
Week of  June 6 – June 12, 2021

tom meier camp directorby Tom Meier, Camp Director and Program Manager

Of the 10 trails at Baltimore Woods, the Valley Trail has long been my favorite. This steep, lush trail descends into the heart of the preserve, providing an immersive sensory experience with stop-in-your-tracks views across the forest, ancient mossy maples, and two bridges over the clear brook.

It seems impossible for children to walk down this trail. They try, at first, but inevitably seem to build up a head of steam and end up running, laughing, deaf to the pleas of parents or camp counselors to slow down, and unable (or unwilling!) to stop themselves.

It occurs to me that spring is like this, a juggernaut of change that starts slowly and builds into a cheerful explosion of new life – flowers, new leaves, bird song, mushrooms, fiddleheads, and caterpillars. Until one day in June, I find myself standing in the deep green forest, stunned by the change, and wondering, “When did it become summer?”.

In the cacophony of our daily human lives, it is so easy to try to fight change or to get so distracted by responsibilities and demands whirling all around us that we miss the important changes and wonder what happened. We forget to slow down and pay attention to moments.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the juggernaut of life, I invite you to the Valley Trail. Take a moment to marvel at the graceful maidenhair ferns. Stop at one of the bridges and watch the water striders. Listen to the music of the wood thrushes and veerys in the evening. Smell the rich forest. Sit on a hillside bench and watch the world slow down.

Scene along the valley trail at Baltimore woods in summer
veery bird brown and cream in a tree branch
maidenhair fern on teh forest floor - aerial view
pileated woodpecker feeds a baby in a tree hole nest