This past Sunday afternoon we decided to walk in the park. Sundays are our time to talk about the past week and share plans for the coming week; so we usually head out to one of Nashville's natural areas. We decided on the Ashland City greenway.
Officially, it is named The Ashland City Bicentennial Trail. The trail in its former life was the site of the Tennessee Central Railroad tracks. There are tall bluffs on one side and a wide floodplain on the other. Beyond the floodplain is Sycamore Creek and the Sycamore Creek embayment (large cove). The trail is flat and wide, with plenty of room for bikers, walkers, joggers, parents with strollers and little kids on bikes. Completely accessible.
Either the city or a boyscout troop has done a great job of placing plant markers along the trail denoting native wildflowers, trees and even the invasives. There are carvings of the leaves on the markers to help you identify which plant in the greenery they are pointing you towards. Very clever way to educate trail users....
The bluffs are spectacular. I love river bluffs. I love thinking about water moving through and carving out the bedrock eons ago. We would walk a bit and I would stop and exclaim, "Look at that layered rock and stone, isn't it beautiful?" or "Oh, look at that columbine, isn't it amazing that plants can grow and thrive on that rock with hardly any soil?" It is amazing and beautiful.
The bluffs were also dotted with daffodils. Not quite in bloom but ready to open any day. Years ago some landowner on the top of the bluff lovingly planted bulbs in her yard (sorry guys but I think it was a woman) and now there they are growing all along the bluffs in the most unlikely places. Nature at work. I wonder how long ago they were planted and how far they traveled to find purchase on a bluff shelf.
There are even a few waterfalls. Bluffs always have waterfalls. What a nice sight and even better sound....with the water moving down the hillside. If only garden water features sounded that good.
Nothing is in bloom at this time, but soon the columbine, phacelia, spring beauties, trillium and other natives will be viewable. Columbine an evergreen, is happily growing all over the bluff ledges. It's going to be pretty this spring.
But don't limit your visit to spring, the summer may have a few surprises for you. If you're lucky you might see the American White water lily (Nymphaea odorata) in bloom. Look for it closer to the Sycamore Creek embayment.