February 18, 2015
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit Alabama for the first time. Though I arrived with my head filled with stereotypes, I quickly let them all go and enjoyed the new scenery.
I was adjacent to the Talladega National Forest, with trails and roads open to the public. The forest was full of mixed stands, planted pines, and young deciduous patches. Deer were present – as well as hunters seeking the deer – as were many species of birds. The paths were wide in some places, and I loved how they were covered with leaves from previous autumns. Even frogs sang their hearts out in small pools left over from the last rain.
My favorite part of the forest was a tiny stream that snaked through the woods. In some places the stream disappeared completely underground or was hidden by a pile of fallen leaves, only to reappear as the ground cover shifted. The water was so clear, allowing beautiful views of minnows and pebbles underneath the surface. When I picture “clean water,” an image of that creek is going to instantly spring to my mind.