Memories and photos from our readers - Carolina Country

Wooded Playground

Wooded Playground

The wooded area around our home was my playground growing up. There were two white pines in our front yard too fat to put your arms around. My siblings and I would hide behind them in a game of hide-and-seek. In the fall, we would stuff the needles up our sleeves and become scarecrows.

The branches were just a ladder, waiting to be climbed. Sap stuck to my fingers, and I gathered bark as I made my way up the tree. Once at the top, the branches transformed into a comfortable seat. The view was extraordinary. I could see the tops of houses, fields of sugar cane and Table Rock.

At night, fireflies blinked their beacons, inviting new adventures. Once caught, we would use their tails to make fluorescent faces on the trees. One night, after taking about 20 hostage, we made a lantern with a jelly jar. They escaped during the night into the bedroom, causing quite a stir!

Below our house was a crooked trail that led into the woods. A makeshift bridge crossed the creek at the end of the trail. Once at the creek, we would plug snake holes with rocks, often spending hours packing gray clay into rocks and branches as we prepared a swimming hole. When finished, it looked as if beavers had done the work.

One day when I arrived at the creek I saw a cottonmouth snake winding through the water. He stretched open his mouth and it looked like it was filled with cotton! I picked up the biggest rock I could find and aimed for his head. He turned away and disappeared from sight.

When I look back on our outdoor adventures, I can’t believe our wooded playground is now a town. It seems like only yesterday I was a child climbing trees, catching fireflies and swimming in that creek.

Gale Franklin, Hudson, a member of Blue Ridge Energy

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