Sunshine, floods, cloudy days, lingering stems and pods, last leaves.
The cold days of winter both challenge our desire to get outdoors and entice us with delights not on offer in the warmer seasons. The browns and grays of winter shade the park a bleaker tone than the bright colors of spring and summer and fall, but have their own charms. Following a flood, the smear of silty mud on the banks showcases the power of the river, and its annual gift of soil, easily missed when foliage hides the view.
Winter opens distant views of a green, crystal clear Floyds Fork through the understory that elude a walker in summer. That same opening of vistas gives a winter hiker a sense of landscape form (steep slopes on the edge of the broad flat floodplain), and forest history (large old trees in mature sites nestling against the rash “dog hair thickets” of fast growing young trees in a recently abandoned farm field) not visible at any other time of year.
While many wildlife species have gone south or underground, those that remain show more easily: the red of the cardinal and the streak of the Kingfisher along the creek are easily spotted. So, don’t be deterred by winter’s cold—come out and enjoy The Parklands—there is still much to see and to do!
About the Author
A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Dan holds degrees from Yale University (B.A., M.F.) and Indiana University, Bloomington (Ph.D.). He has spent much of his working life in the fields of education and business management. In addition to founding and managing his own business, he taught World History and the History of the American West at the University of Louisville, and most recently, an Honors Seminar entitled “Reading the Natural Landscape.” In 2004, he founded 21st Century Parks, Inc. a nonprofit corporation created to bring fresh vision to the development and preservation of new public parklands. Their current project, The Parklands of Floyds Fork, is one of the largest new metropolitan parks projects in the country: almost 4000 acres of new, donor-supported public park system in the last major undeveloped section of Metro Louisville. Dan is the founder of 21st Century Parks/The Parklands and currently serves as the Board Chair, where he oversees fundraising, planning, design, construction, and operations of the new parks. He is married, with four children, and enjoys hiking, camping and fishing with his family, skiing, running, and reading.