Those Loblolly Pines seem awfully orderly. Hmmm
Probably, if you asked a random sampling of Charlotte residents about Ribbonwalk, the most popular response would be: What is that?
Like the city in which it’s located, the preserve’s name is derived from Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III of England. The Queen’s mother-in-law owned a woodland garden known as “RibbonWalk” because of how the paths “ribboned” their way through the forest. Purchased as 155 acres in 1987 by Mecklenburg County, the forest was operated under a management agreement with Charlotte Botanical Society, later called RibbonWalk Conservancy, Inc., until July 2005. Additional acres have been purchased over the years and the forest is now incorporated into Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department’s nature preserve system.
This is not surprising as Ribbonwalk is nestled in an out of the way neighborhood, not next to any lakes or rivers, and doesn’t have a lots of picnic tables or facilities. In fact, there is but one “Porta John” at the entrance to the park and that’s it for ‘facilities’.
I used to come here often when living on this side of town, but had completely forgotten about it until I started key-wording my photos and ran across a few of my favorites taken at the park, like this one of a Green Heron taking flight.
One of the advantages of taking my camera to lots of places is that I can know exactly how long that it’s been since I’ve been to a place. My last time there was on March 30th, 2007 when I took some photos of my friend, Chetana.
I have no idea how I found it, initially. I don’t think that another photographer told me about it, but perhaps that is how it happened. It’s just a little known part of Charlotte. Only hikers seem to know about it.
This morning was cloudy and slightly breezy, therefore, a great day to take a walk through the forest. I’d always wondered about the large number of loblolly pines in the park, some of them standing in almost exact rows, like they had been planted like that. This morning, I saw an informational plaque indicating that this area used to be both loblolly pine plantations (aha!) as well as various cotton plantations. So, there was the explanation of the almost perfectly placed trees near the entrance.
It was a nice walk in the park this morning, getting reacquainted. As usual, there were very few people. Only one car was at the entrance when I arrived. I stayed for about 90 minutes. When I left, there were only 4 cars, including mine. I saw 2 joggers. The only sounds that I heard were the footfalls of the joggers on the leave strewn paths and the sound of squirrels scampering around, collecting acorns, I suppose, or the occasional shriek of a Blue Jay.
I didn’t spot any Green Herons, but that was alright – It was a very pleasant morning.