In 2020, my husband and I began regularly taking walks around the small lake (pond?) at Heritage Park, just south of Parkland.
The Champaign Park District has been really been improving the area over the past few years, adding a sidewalk all the way around, planting native plants along the shoreline, and maintaining a restored prairie. They’ve also just added this bench which confuses me to some extent, but it’s in a nice spot to sit and admire the scenery.
This is really the best time of year to walk the path. The geese have departed, taking their treachery along with them, and there are sweet little mallard duck couples floating around the lake just minding their business.
We walk at lunchtime, and often see the same folks along the way, but usually just pass on by with a “hey” and smile.
In the past couple of weeks, however, us walkers have been bonding over our shared awe of the work of one or more beavers that is now on display. There are two rather impressive dams in the stream that runs alongside the path.
Today, we found ourselves talking to a woman who was looking at one of the trees the beaver(s) had been gnawing on. She and other Heritage Park frequenters have been on the lookout for the creature(s), but haven’t seen one yet.
Two more people walked up and joined our conversation and we all had this wholesome moment of appreciating the idea that these beavers just instinctively know how to build these elaborate structures.
Anyways, the news is terrible and things are hard but having a conversation with strangers about the wonders of nature was good.