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.
Now wasn't that a pleasant sojourn?