Monday, May 29, 2006

Weekend Walk in the Woods

I am sure that I will end up naming a number of posts like this with the same name, since this is what I do in the spring---walk in the woods. We drove to the mountains in West Virginia to see how long we could make spring last. Weather here in the city is already in the 80's and climbing.


My husband found a trail called Devil's Stairsteps and the forestry map had described it as 'strenuous' which immediately made me NOT want to take it. But just like a dog on a leash I went along, and, of course, we ended up hiking about 5 miles total before we got back to the car. It was mid-day before we reached the trail and so we unfortunately started our hike just as the weather was getting warm and spent a good part walking in the warmest part of day. The drifting clouds that covered the sun intermittently were most welcome. It was just an afternoon hike due to the late start---otherwise hubby would have dragged me several more miles. His motto is: "Never leave a side trail unexplored."

OK, get your coffee or tea or cold lemonade, and put your feet up, because I will take you along with no sweat on your part. You can click on the images to better see what I saw.



All the trees were golden or emerald green except for a lovely rose colored ash in one of the valleys below. Birds were unusually loud and territorial for mid-day. We saw several cuckoos, a few grosbeaks and a lovely rust-colored thrasher all flitting and singing. Well, the thrasher was sort of clucking in the ground at our feet trying to avoid the hikers walking from both directions on the trail--- it was a little like rush hour at times. Mountain laurel were just starting to open and a good part of the trail was bordered with them which I tried to show in the photos above.


We took a small side trail hoping for a rock out-cropping so that we could look out across the ravine. There appeared to be a break in the canopy of heavy trees and that is where we came upon two lady-slipper plants---related to the orchid. They were large and had white moths at the base of the flowers--maybe pollinating them. I was glad they were well away from the trail so that people wouldn't step on them or pick them. These are a rare find for me.


The blue-eyed grass was in bloom and reminded me that I want to get some plants of this to place near the house in one of the landscape beds. I had these at my last house. I caught a visiting bee when I snapped this photo!


Two lovely mating butterflies danced back and forth across the path and here is one of them caught in mid-air over the trail.


And, of course, much wild geranium was sprinkling its pink petals along the paths.

And finally, a screen saver for your PC. I didn't resize this, so if you can get it open, it is all yours as a spring gift from me. It was not 'photoshopped' but just a natural dark background from the forest.

Wild pink azalea

Now wasn't that a pleasant sojourn?

10 comments:

  1. Beautiful pictures! That one of the bee visiting was very detailed.

    Ugh. I hate the heat. And the bugs it brings. I've had my fill of them this week-end.

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  2. Very nice photos! I love the shot of the butterflies and the bee!

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  3. Wow, what a perfect morning walk this was, and what an exquisite Lady's Slipper! There is a whole boatload of fine karma here, and thank you.

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  4. Thank you for the wonderful hike. The beautiful pictures made me wish I could hike again, but you made it possible:)

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  5. This is excellent, Tabor. And the pictures are just marvelous (very pretty butterfly, and lady slipper, for instance).

    And I took you up on it: I now got a new screensaver. Thanks much.

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  6. yes, indeed! thanks for letting me join you. it is so much fun to discover little treasures. glad you had such a nice hike.

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  7. Tabor

    The Wild Pink Azalea photo is so beautiful. I clicked and enlarged it and it is striking with the black background.

    Thanks for taking me along on your hike.

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  8. Thanks for the walk, or jog, as the case maybe. I have never seen a wild azalea!

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  9. Anonymous12:29 PM

    Yes! Sometimes I begin a post and just know it's going to become a reoccuting series that will need it's own sidebar category soon.

    I especially love the shot of Lady's Slipper. It's getting harder and harder to come by. I once made a tincture of the roots of some. Medicinally, it's like a tranquilizer.

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  10. Beautiful walk in the woods with you! Thanks for these special pictures. I especially loved the fact that you captured a bee in one and a butterfly in another.

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Take your time...take a deep breath...then hit me with your best shot.