Wednesday, April 06, 2011

A Walk Around Greenfield Lake

Wisteria along the edge of Greenfield Lake
 I am still on break and my blog surfing will be limited till next week (when it will be limited by me trying to catch up at work)… Hang in there, I’ll be back. Until then, here is another post of an afternoon walk.

There is nothing like spring down east in North Carolina, when the dogwoods, azaleas and wisteria are in bloom and the weather is warm, but not yet hot and sticky like it’ll be in another few months. This is the perfect weather for a stroll around Greenfield Lake. It’s a nice walk, somewhere betwee four and five miles, but the steps do bring back a lot of memories. Thirty years ago, I lived across the street from this lake in an apartment complex and have walked and ridden a bicycle around this waters more times than I can count.

Some azaleas are blooming 

Cypress with Spanish Moss

It’s a good thing it’s not a summer night, for the ghosts of my past haunt these water.  Memories of walking around the lake with my ex-wife, on warm and humid evenings when the magnolia blooms and the flowers of honeysuckles scent the air and the Spanish moss dangling from the branches of the large and unruly live oaks create dark shadows.  All the feelings come back to me on this late afternoon stroll.  I also remember the day I encountered an alligator sunning on the bank and when I tried to get a better look, he made a threatening move toward me.  I quickly back stepped and enjoyed watching him from a distant.  But it’s not yet warm enough for alligators or snakes today.  And the honeysuckle and magnolia blooms are still a ways off.  Today, only the dogwoods and wisteria are in full bloom.  There are a few camellias blooming, but their blossoms are waning.   These plants began to show their colors when the rest of the country is still shoveling snow.  Some of the early azaleas are also blooming, but the peak is still a week or two away.  Then, the entire lake will be encircled with red flowers of the giant Formosa azaleas.  At one time, the park boasted having over a million azaleas planted around the lake.

Yep, there are alligators


I walk, enjoying the sights and looking out upon cypress growing in the lake that once housed a gristmill. The mill was gone long before I came along and today, despite the ghosts of the past, these peaceful waters provide a wonderful respite.

Azaleas in bloom


  1. Wow - what a lovely place to walk! Except for the alligator activity - that would keep me away, I'm thinking. :)

  2. Oh yes stay far away from the alligators! Once in the waterway behind my sister-in-laws house in Florida a baby alligator swam by.....that was close enough for me! This is such a lovely lake, what I especially like is that those things around the outside of the lake (like buildings and etc) don't show...this lake from your photos appears like its in a world all by itself...sorry for the memories but surely they are good, just different times now....I can't wait till you post more with all the other goodies brought to life! Take good care of you Sage!

  3. One thing I miss a little bit given my location in Louisiana is the dramatic seasonal changes. Here's it's very subtle and there's something to be said for a more explosivie change.

  4. It looks beautiful, but just knowing there are alligators there would keep me away. It's gorgeous in the Piedmont now, Sage. Are you coming through here?

  5. I be missing me some Spring time!

    I'm also looking forward to exploring NC this summer.


  6. A tranquil atmosphere. Thanks for sharing. Can I use one of the pictures in this post for my blog? Due acknowledgement will be given.

  7. There is that wistful tone of the returning immigrant whenever you write about the Carolinas. You should try some poetry when you're down that neck.

  8. Just so you know Sage...there was snow here yesterday for a little while but it hit the ground as rain but Monday early morning was oddest thing I'd seen in awhile...lightning in the clouds ( a lot of it) but no thunder. Enjoy your spring and when you do get back (anytime after Tigers opening day) you'll be able to have a second round of the spring time.

  9. Very stunning. I just wanted to jump right into the trail picture and start running!
    How nice to see warm weather which actually allows things to bloom and grow before May. (Or June.)

  10. Lynn, the alligators just want to be left alone (but I wouldn't let a small dog get too close to the water)

    Karen, I did try to avoid some of the buildings, but there is a walkway next to the lake and then a road around the lake. The houses and apartments are across the road, so everything inside is a part of the park.

    Charles, the "explosion" is nice

    Kenju, sorry, I'm not going to make it to Raleigh this trip

    Randall, I'll look forward to your reports!

    Cyclops, sure thing, feel free to borrow a photo. I'd be proud to have a photo illustrate your fine poems

    Vince, I should but I haven't done much poetry in the past year or so (don't know why, it just hasn't been there)

    Walking Guy, I plan to be down to Detroit in May for a game, want to join us?

    Callista, why thank you!

    Dawn, it's a nice place to run!