Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Meacham Grove

The sugar maples are at their hot-color height just now, yellow and orange mostly, but with a dash of red. There aren't that many in my neighborhood, but we walked through a small forest of them on Saturday at the Meacham Grove Forest Preserve. I wanted to see some leaf colors over the weekend, but didn’t want to drive very far. Only about three miles from the house, the Meacham woods fit the bill, with the bonus of novelty, since we’d never managed to go there before.

It was cool and overcast, but no rain came until later in the day. According to the pamphlet I picked up on site, the woods total more than 250 acres, and are named for the Meacham brothers, who owned the land (and more) as early as it could be owned after the Potawatomi were kicked out in 1830. Their name also endures as a major north-south street in eastern Schaumburg, so maybe their holding extended up that way too.

We’d only seen the woods from Bloomingdale Road, but there’s no obvious place to park a car along that road, despite what the usually reliable Hiking & Biking in DuPage County, Illinois says. After some looking, we found the parking lot and headed out for a walk around Maple Lake, a small body of water surrounded by a path and trees. It reminded me a little of Walden Pond, though it’s smaller and I don’t think anyone’s ever written about living deliberately on the banks of Maple Lake.

Another path wanders a mile or so through a forest of mostly maples. We followed this, despite Lilly’s protests that it was a walk too far. Admiring fall leaves is an acquired taste, maybe, since Lilly didn’t start enjoying the walk until she picked up a branch and started drawing on the path. Ann copied this immediately.


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