A Little Time and a Keyboard: Celebrating the Change of Seasons Wandering Somme Woods in Northbrook, Illinois

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Celebrating the Change of Seasons Wandering Somme Woods in Northbrook, Illinois

 Celebrating the Change of Seasons Wandering Somme Woods in Northbrook, Illinois

Wandering the Footpaths of Somme Woods

Enjoying a taste of spring as we toggle between the seasons, we embarked on an adventure at Somme Woods in Northbrook. Somme Woods actually represents a portion of a series of preserves including Somme Prairie Grove and Somme Prairie Nature Preserve. However, we were woodland bound!

The bones of the forest craft interesting shapes at Somme Woods in Northbrook, Illinois.
The bones of the forest craft interesting shapes at Somme Woods.

Restoration has been undertaken inside the preserves since the 1970's.  Somme Woods totally wrapped me in wonder from the beginning because the preserve borders on a busy road yet beckons nature enthusiasts from all around. As we stepped out of the car, we heard our first frogs of the season. The resilience of nature amazes and certainly is exemplified in the restored areas of the Somme Preserves.

A blend of ecosystems at Somme Woods.
Stunning late winter scene at Somme Woods.

A stream meanders through the preserve. Trails trace and cross it. We splendored in a view of the creek framed by the gnarly, reaching arms of winter trees set with golden grasses and bristly trees behind. The whole scene illuminated with the brilliant blue sky behind. Some of the ponds and streams at Somme Woods are ephemeral, so it will be interesting to witness their changes during the year.


Weaving Through the Trails of Somme Woods

Somme Woods trails consist of an inner loop, an outer loop and connecting trails. We wove in an out between the looks taking advantage of connections. We lost ourselves in the woods for awhile -- figuratively, not literally -- soaking in the nature surrounding us. Trails are fairly easy. Somme Woods has a great team of dedicated volunteers. We so much appreciated the natural elements including branches and bark put down to cross muddy patches.

Verdant moss crafts a vibrant presence in the late winter forest.
Verdant moss crafts a vibrant presence in the late winter forest.

Honestly, I feel this time of year unveils so many gems in the forest. Without the thick vegetation, you can clearly see more nests, artfully decomposing trees, splotches of lichens and the mosses of the forest floor. I love hiking in late winter and early spring for these views. Check out the fuzzy moss rock we found!

The forest preserve's incredible 269 acres holds many nature adventures throughout the year in every season. In normal years, Somme Woods hosts a New Year's Bonfire so be on the watch for that! I am looking forward to the the resumption of the annual bonfire as well as observing the changes of nature throughout the year in the Somme Preserves.

Verdant moss crafts a vibrant presence in the late winter forest.





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