My friend, Janice, and I decided to make a trip to the Kroger Wetlands since neither of us had been there. This 14.5 acre wetland is located on Acme Street in Marietta Ohio.
While situated right behind the Krogers grocery store the one-mile walking trail around the wetlands is very secluded. To me it seems like a place a woman shouldn't walk alone.
There are advantages to this seclusion. While Janice was walking in front we heard a commotion right at her feet just as she crossed a small bridge. Do you see what caused it in the photo below?
Let me crop it to zoom in.
That young raccoon was one of three that we almost crashed into. I loudly whispered, "Look! Raccoons!" Well if you want to watch raccoons, it is better that you don't panic and loudly exclaim. The youngsters clambered over each other as they retreated, one up the back of a tree, one quickly up the creek and the last one hunkered down in the weeds before they all disappeared from sight.
It is funny what adrenaline does to our human brain. While I almost forgot that my camera was in my hand, Janice kept thinking, "Raccoon! What's a raccoon? What's a raccoon?" Her mind grappled with whether or not to tell her feet to run. We thought it funny. The raccoons might not have seen the humor.
We eventually regained our composure and continued our walk, having no idea how long the trail was. Most of it skirts the wetland pond. Every so often there are short paths where you can walk out to view the pond. At one point we crossed a wooden footbridge where a small creek empties into the pond. Here we saw several muscles resting on the mud.
We then continued walking the day became hotter. Poison ivy densely lines the trail, in some places waist high. I would suggest wearing long pants and a long-sleeve shirt then taking a good, soapy shower afterwards. I had on shorts and anklet socks. When we came to the observation deck we stayed land bound for several of the boards were broken or rotting through. From reading a newspaper article written in July of 2010 I see that at that time boards were replaced at this same observation deck. Obviously a wetland is a hard place to keep wood from decaying. It takes many hours of building and upkeep to provide public access to such wetlands. I am thankful for the folks who have the time, inclination and willingness to do this work.
At the end/beginning of the trail is a small meadow area.
This woman-made meadow area includes native plants and is a nice addition to the Kroger Wetland project, inviting insects to visit. The day we were there many species of butterflies joined us though they didn't seem to notice a prominent Butterfly weed.
We circled the meadow once more and happily returned to our car where the air conditioning was quickly turned on.
Cheers to all the people who have donated and worked to make the Kroger Wetlands accessible to the rest of us.