A Fall Field Trip, Part I: Unhappy Trails To You

The human female is facing some foot surgery. The hope is that it will provide a great deal of pain relief.  For ME.  Listening to her carry on is a giant pain in the As…gard.

Knowing that the ol’ chop-chop is coming and that she’ll be reduced to being a couch-whale for some time thereafter, she has crammed her calendar with field botany.  Today she is to lead a field trip in the local “wilderness” park.  Sigyn and I have been here before.  Today, however, we have to park all the way on the other side of the place, at the older entrance.

trail-closed

All in the name of “Progress.”  See, Sigyn?  There’s a Nature Center being being built where we usually come in.  The human female is not a big fan of construction out here and is lamenting the loss of trees. Great Frigga’s corset strings!  Stop whining, woman! Wait until the damnable thing is built before you commence your moaning.

Uh, oh.  I have to agree, though.  This does not look good.  Asphalt does not belong in the woods.

asphalt

There is a quarter mile and more of this, dumped along what used to be an old sandy path where one could study animal tracks.  It’s ugly and smelly and loose and so shifty underfoot that it’s nearly impossible to walk on.  I don’t know if today’s botanical stroll counts as cardio, but the human female is certainly exercising her indignation and working herself into a fine swivet.  Ehehehehe!  Look, Sigyn–have you ever seen her face so purple?

Ooooh.  This is not going to help.  Someone has helpfully put up some tree signs.

juniper-sign

According to the human female, the local juniper is J. virginiana, which is remarkably drought tolerant.  And even *I* have managed to learn that a plant’s specific epithet (its second name) is not capitalized.

Is…is that some foamy spittle at the corner of her mouth, Sigyn?

Yes, I do believe it is.

elm-oak

There is so much wrong with this one that I just heard the words, “so laughably inaccurate as to be useless”come out of the human female. The sign’s on a winged elm but has the wrong genus–the name refers to an oak that is not found in the park.  The images depict American elm, so they’re no good either.

It’s a town full of botanists and master naturalists.  I wonder whom the City consulted as to trails and signage?  (Innocent whistling.)

Leaving an indignant little note has no doubt made her feel a bit better, but that’s not a real solution.  Her lips are moving and she’s begun to twitch. I think she may be mentally composing a Scathing Letter to Someone In Charge.

This ought to be good.

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