Yesterday I deactivated my Facebook account. I deal with anxiety in my way. With all the news about COVID-19, I started to feel anxious, not about the risk of the virus itself, but the future for myself and my children. Some people assume or believe that we all "should" deal with the situation the same way. I was sick and tired of being told I had no reason to complain because "I have Netflix" or "Our ancestors fought in WWII blah blah blah". Oh, just STFU!!
I didn't want to be told how to be anymore. So, to shut them all up, I de-activated my Facebook account and retreated.
Monday's weather put me in a gloomy funk. Today the sun appeared again, but the air was cold. I read a blog post by Mary Anne Borge about her walk on the Rockhopper Trail in West Amwell. Mary Anne encountered birds and plants and wildflowers. She mentioned that the warmer weather may have brought on some early budding and flowering. Normally the native wildflowers will appear in mid to late April in the Mid Atlantic.
With a bit of FOMO, I felt the urge to be outside in nature. My goal was to hopefully capture photos of round-lobed Hepatica or rue-anemone.
My first stop was at the Rock Brook along Hollow Road. I have encountered numerous specimens of native wildflowers here but today, the flowers I found only Ficaria Verna and invasive plant from Asia and West Africa.
It was sloshy along the trail in the Sourland Nature Preserve on East Mountain Road. I didn’t find as many plant specimens as Mary Anne, but I wasn't in the mood for bushwacking. Perhaps it's too early for Rue Anemone. I found no hepatica. I had no problem finding Spring Beauty.
There were other couples out hiking, and I encountered one family with four boys blowing of anxious energy. After ninety minutes walking around, I circled back to the trailhead. I was determined to find something. A few yards in I spotted singular bloodroot among the dried leaves.
It was a beautiful day, with temperatures in the teens (Celsius). Bhavna and I decided to take a hike in one of our favourite places, the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Bhavna's sister and her family joined us as my nephews were excited to get outside. The parking area near the trailhead on East Mountain Avenue was packed with cars. It seems everyone in the area had a similar want for some outdoor activity. We hiked for almost 90 minutes taking the very rocky Ridge Trail straight up to Devil's Half Acre, a collection of large boulders, just perfect for two young boys to clamber around.
Amy Maranto went for a walk as well, capturing the scene long the rive in her hometown of Cambridge, UK.