My husband and I had decided to meet across from the high school and walk a trail that led to the far end of town. We had lived in this town for 32 years and had heard of the trail but had never walked it. Our children had, though. In high school it was a great way to walk home if you lived in the far end of town and have a cigarette without being seen. I`m sure a few had their first beer there, too.
I parked my car and walked in a short ways and stopped to wait for my husband. The first thing I noticed, something which every teenager passed by without noticing, was the variety of trees. There were mountain ash, or dogberry as we called it, loaded with berries. I saw a tree with bluish -purple berries and several types with red berries. I wished I had my tree field guide with me.
Something else caught my eye. On every second or third tree I saw what looked like cocoons, tiny insects preparing for winter. The seed pods of wildflowers were abundant. What surprised me most was a huge depression which I could see through the trees that looked like it should have been a pond. I discovered later that it had one time been a man-made pond but it had been drained. It was filled with vegetation of all kinds.
I could tell that the trail went halfway around the erstwhile pond and then went uphill. I waited excitedly for my husband. I knew I had found a treasure close to home, a treasure I had not known existed until now.