Last Wednesday was the last the Howard County Conservancy school field trips at Belmont….and it was a large group of 4th grade students. Fortunately, there were enough people around to lead the hiking portion of the field trips so I enjoy the calm before the students arrived –
The path down toward the pond along the line of blue bird boxes (the black dots in the picture are birds!),
A knot with branches sprouting on the side of a large English Elm near the Carriage house and a mocking bird miffed at the people activity beginning to occur.
There were muddy ruts in some places and a place on the lawn of the manor house was roped off to keep mowers out of the very soggy low place.
Then the 4 buses arrived and there was a very solid 2 hours of hiking with two different groups for me. I got in most of the steps for the day! I took two different routes into the forest and both had some very muddy stretches. I was glad that no one slipped in the mud (including me)!
Then the student were eating their lunches and I was done…I did my usual roll from the Manor House down to the bridge over Rockburn Branch; it part of the transition from the Piedmont down to the coastal plane. The last bit of Belmont Woods Road is not well maintained…muddy ruts on both sides…lots of pot holes. But the trees on both sides and overhead make the metropolitan area seem very far away.