I really can’t decide what season I think Spring Mill is most beautiful. I spend a fair amount of time considering this and then I remember that it’s not a competition. The seasons aren’t vying with each other for “most spectacular display”. Although sometimes it certainly seems like they are. Every time I visit the park I’m just stunned by how beautiful it is. Each season is different and there are special things that I enjoy. During spring, it is the profusion of ferns that I find utterly enchanting to the point of distraction.
I’m in love with ferns and it’s really exciting to find yourself in a forest with them draping over fallen logs, carpeting the ground, and even shooting out of limestone boulders. (Green things growing out of rocks makes me ridiculously happy). There was lots of that on this trip. I think it might have been peak fern season.
There’s a pioneer village in the park, complete with a rock-walled garden. They’ve reconstructed a typical garden from the 1860s, filled with herbs and flowers. Sometimes if you’re lucky you can overlisten a historic reenactors telling children about the plants, how they’d be harvested and dried, and then used in medicinal teas for cough and fever. It’s kind of fun to hear the kid’s responses. I love the garden for one main reason – the limestone wall provides a great substrate for ferns, succulents, moss, and some flowers that grow fetchingly in the little fissures. Every trip to Spring Mill includes a walk down to the garden to photograph the wall.
While it was wonderful to see the ferns growing along that wall again, nothing compared to the thrill of seeing them along the trails and deep in the forest as we hiked along, saturated in green, and admiring every leaf.
Blessings to you,