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Sunday, April 13, 2014

#16 - Long Shadows - and Signs of Spring!

Evening Hike - Getting Started
Unfortunately, I'm unable to take off each weekend to the best National Parks our Country has to offer. It's time for Spring clean-up around the house and time to plant the fruits and vegetables that we will enjoy throughout the Summer. The good news is, that doesn't mean you can't get out for your hike! Actually, things can be so different every time you go. Yesterday was one of those times.

Getting up and hiking in the morning is my most favorite time to hike. However, waiting for the evening, when the shadows start to stretch, and the sunlight is a rich orange, you begin to notice different sights and sounds as the forest prepares for night.
At the Trail Head
Green ground cover - Ground Cedar
With all of the Cherry Trees and Dogwood's in bloom throughout the area, you would almost think someone forgot to inform the forest that Spring is here - as many of the trees are still bare. However, as I hiked along, I noticed the amount of Ground Cedar certainly seemed to be more dense, and some of the smaller trees and shrubs were beginning to show new green.

I picked the western end of the South Valley Trail to Hike, as it is an area I had never made it to before. I'm glad I selected this trail, as it was perfect for the long shadows I saw, and the symphony of frogs as I hiked along.

Western Edge - South Valley Trail

Western Edge - South Valley Trail

Western Edge - South Valley Trail
I saw a number of interesting wildlife and animal habitat along the way. The prize were two wild turkey's I came upon, and I just couldn't get my camera out in time before they were gone. Signs of beavers taking down trees, a wasp nest the size of a soccer ball (that I was thankful was not active), and a baby black snake were among the treasures for today.

Busy Beaver

Wasp Nest

Baby Black Snake

 Of course, there is always the creek, and wherever there's a creek there's Riley. She is happy Spring is here and that the water is not as cold.

Riley Swimming

We got 4 miles in, and while it wasn't a day long adventure, it was just what we needed for today. We made it back about 30 minutes before dark, as the forest and the creek were preparing for darkness. I found the hike to actually be more relaxing than strenuous. A good way to end a good day.

Keep hiking, friends...


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