Without its deciduous canopy, the Shady Glade trail at the Norman Bird Sanctuary is light-filled and pleasantly architectural. Above a tidy stand of trunks the branches twist together, unclad and silhouetted in the strong light, but it will only be a few weeks until they retreat behind dense boughs of foliage. For those en route to Hanging Rock in summer, this will be a cool and peaceful place to rest.
Admission to the Bird Sanctuary is $6 per person, but individual memberships can be purchased for $40, which grants you free access for the year. This fee goes towards helping the organization preserve over 300 acres of wildlife refuge and provide environmental programming, education and outreach in the community.
It’s a great place to go on a date, and I always bring visiting friends up to see the view from Hanging Rock. When I travel I like to get the lay of the land from some high vantage point; it makes me feel much more connected to and aware of the place that I am visiting, and I try to create that experience for my houseguests. Still, my most productive walks are usually the ones I take alone. If you make your way to the Shady Glade, you might find me sitting there, thinking hard.
Visit www.normanbirdsanctuary.org for more information.