Thawing Pond

Thawing Pond

Some early spring-like weather came upon us on the first of March, perfect for a hike through the restored prairie. Following the removal of miles of clay drain tiles, this former farmland is returning to it's more natural state of a prairie and wetland. Small ponds dot the landscape, and they are just beginning to thaw in these warm temperatures.

The Orland Grassland has several miles of paved trails, and another few miles of mowed grass trails. I prefer the grass trails, but they are only open to hikers from October to May.  Once the ground nesting birds return, these trails are off limits.

The grass trails take you away from most man-made things, although because of the proximity to cities, you never quite get away from everything. At times you can't see any homes or electrical towers in the distance, but you always hear the nearby highways.  The grassland is almost two miles long by a mile wide, so plenty of green space, but you often see the reminders of civilization on the horizon.

Because of the recent thaw, the grass trails were quite wet and soggy, most likely the reason I was the only person on them. Suits me just fine.

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