Part 1: My relationship with the woods and it’s wonderful features
The woods at Guilford have slowly become my favorite location on campus to visit. If it’s sunny and warm or even if it’s a brisk wintery day, I have found a nice long walk through the Guilford woods allows me to escape from the stress of school and of growing up and becoming an adult in today’s day in age. Through my childhood, I most enjoyed my free time in the outdoors. I always had an attraction to the natural world especially in fauna. Since I was young I have had a fascination with birds, bugs, fish, frogs, and many other wild creatures I had spent my time observing. The past few years of my life have been lack-luster when it comes to spending time with nature. Therefor, I am extremely grateful to be living in a place with a great amount of wilderness to roam freely. My first experiences with the Guilford woods were as I began to find the people I really connected with at this school. In most instances a group of us (some intoxicated, few sober) would hang out near on the edge of the woods at night, or take a short walk to the rope-swing which hung from a large tree rooted into the side of a large incline. This is where my seed of connection with these woods was first planted, before I was even aware of it. Typically, my time in the woods was spent at night, interacting with intoxicated adolescents who’s brains were much more active than that of my own. The darkness kept me from viewing all of natures beauty, and the constant rambling of rambling intoxicated teens, also held me back from all the Guilford woods had to offer. After coming back to Guilford at the start of the second semester, there became a lot more time on my own, less people to be with, things to do, and an increased drive to spend my time outdoors. Since coming back to campus, in January, I have gone on many explorations through the woods of Guilford, with and without the accompaniment of a friend.
The map below shows the woods at Guilford College:
There are roughly 240 acres of these woods, with a 0.3 mile trail that provides information related to the underground railroad. I think I could probably say I’ve laid eyes on a lot of these wood’s acreage after going on quite a few adventures in them. From the north apartments, around the lake, down massive hills, and even accidentally wandering into a few people’s backyards, the Guilford woods have a lot to offer. One of my favorite features is the small creek that flows through the property. I love creeks because of the nostalgia they bring to my soul, from all the time I spent around one during my childhood at a family friend’s cabin out in rural Hayesville, North Carolina. The water flowing though an array of beautiful river stones adds a soothing, serendipitous burble to the environment, contributing an auditory element to the experience, pleasing to the ears. The creek is also a source of water, a mandatory element for the wildlife that resides in these woods, and provides a home for many creatures, making these woods all the more exciting. Walking through un-trailed terrain in these woods have proven to have some challenges. One of these challenges is the large area of swamp that can be rather difficult to navigate. Another being a number of fallen trees, a lot of which had fallen during the recent winter storm. Although these inconveniences are apparent, I still have love and appreciation for them, as they add character to these woods.