While fall is my favorite season, I’ve started appreciating the wonders of spring much more in the past couple of years. In Georgia, there’s something quite beautiful about yellow daffodils sprouting up and unfurling, the white blossoms of Bradford pear trees, and the pink blossoms of tulip trees. Near my house are several parks, and there are few things more precious than seeing ducklings waddle toward a pond and gliding off in a line on the water. I’m not the most athletic person, but the new life teeming around me sparks the hiker in me. I’m also not a camper, although my husband and two sons love camping, but I adore day hikes. Fortunately there are several state parks near my house that are perfect for this kind of activity. There’s nothing like leaving behind the gray asphalt and setting out on a beaten trail with anticipation of what lies ahead. My favorite trails are the ones that lead to waterfalls, which, to me, represent some of nature’s glory in its finest.
Cherokee Falls, Cloudland Canyon State Park, Georgia
My family always has apprehensive feelings about my hiking fever. However, I usually throw in a picnic to make the prospect that much inviting. With the promise of chocolate chip cookies in my children’s future, we head out for a day of nature and fresh air and beauty. Arriving at our destination, I love thinking about the hike ahead as we pull out the cooler with the sandwiches. Now that the twins are older, they can make their own and walk the whole way on their own without my husband having to carry one and my carrying the other. Fortunately for me, my husband knows me and knows I’m all about the waterfall. He’s the one who makes sure there’s a tablecloth, utensils, paper towels or napkins, and a trash bag in case there’s no waste receptacle nearby.
Amicalola Falls, Amicalola Falls State Park, Georgia
Then comes the hike. Nature never fails to disappoint me from hidden flowers peeking out from downed logs along the path to something totally unexpected that sends a ripple of delight through each of us as we continue. For instance, during one hike, seeing tents and gear high above the ground to keep the campers’ belongings safe from bears was the start of some interesting conversations.
Tallulah Falls, Tallulah Gorge State Park, Georgia
Whenever we choose a path near a waterfall, the river starts out as a calm whisper and the sound amplifies as we get closer, the rush of the water cascading propelling us faster toward our destination until we arrive. The scenery always takes my breath away as the majesty and splendor makes me stop thinking of everything going on in my life and helps me focus on that moment, on that awesome spectacle, on the beauty before me. I don’t even reach for my phone for those first minutes, instead having the waterfall itself imprint itself on my mind, a memory like no other. Seeing the wonder in people’s eyes who have also hiked to the same place captivates me as well. When possible, some are even splashing in a cove or dipping their feet into the water.
Raven Cliff Falls, Chattahoochee National Forest, Georgia
Then we start the trek back to our car, our memories intact, our legs getting a vigorous workout. On the way back, there’s always something I missed the first time. Initials carved into a rock, a happy dog leading its owner along the way, a placard with some explanation of the area.
By the time we’re halfway home and commenting on how yellowish-green our car is (pollen is a major issue in spring in Georgia), the kids are sometimes napping while we start discussing spring cleaning. Then I pull out my phone and search for the nearest waterfall we haven’t visited yet!
What about you? What’s your favorite part about nature in the spring?
Look for A Ranger for the Twins - Lucie's story - coming October of 2020
Keep in touch: Tanya's Facebook Author page
Follow me on Bookbub