Yesterday was the March gathering of the Ijams Hiking Club. Our goal is to hike all 47 miles of trails in the Knox Urban Wilderness South Loop in 2018 to earn the Legacy Parks Foundation Patch.
This time we decided to explore the trails on the eastern edge of the old Ross Marble Quarry, a former industrial site with homesites for the quarrymen and their families. All is slowly returning to nature since the quarry stopped operation in the late 1970s. That being said, almost everywhere you look you see signs of civilization slowly deteriorating.
This one broken figurine caught my eye. I took it as a wood nymph bidding us safe passage and in my mind named her "Evangeline," in honor of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's famous 1847 poem. Did the families of the quarrymen read the poem by candlelight in their small cabins? The faded figurine would have been a luxury, It is emblematic of the home life of the quarrymen at the turn of the century.
Paraphrasing Longfellow, "Listen to the mournful tradition still sung by the pines of the forest; Listen to a Tale of Love in Acadie, home of the happy."
And as a group, we were all happy. We were outside.