|That's My Motto!|
Rested, reinvigorated and rehydrated, Thursday morning had me out on the trail bright and early. I wanted to walk the Moonshine Creek and the Creek Sink trails at San Felasco Hammock State Park before it got too hot again. It had rained a little bit the night before and more rain was in the forecast later, so the air was heavy and everything was damp. When I took out my cameras I found that the lenses were fogged. They were still cool from the air conditioning in the house and car and when the hot, humid air hit them, condensation formed on everything. I wiped them with my lens cloth, but the metal on the telephoto held the cold and it kept fogging over for almost a half hour. Therefore, I missed my chance to get a picture of the Hooded Warbler and Acadian Flycatcher I saw right by the creek. But I was just happy to have found them.
|Starting on the Trail|
|Sun Rays in the Forest|
Moonshine Creek at San Felasco is one of the first trails my family and I hiked when we first moved to Gainesville. It has changed a lot over the years but is still a great place to hike. I like to come for butterflies in the fall and Jack in the Pulpit and Trillium in the Spring. The hurricanes of 2004 took out lots of big trees and then the drought a few years later dried up ponds and swamps. But everything changes. A wet prairie will be flooded one year and dried up the next. A big tree falls and opens up a big patch of sunshine into dark woods and new plants grow there that never could before. Things change. Pine beetles, coral ardesia, and hard winters, dry summers. You can't be sure that the things you saw one year will be there the next. It makes life precious and interesting. It's important to appreciate what you have while you have it, but it is just as important to be able to improvise and adapt when you don't. Change is good for you because it forces you to think in new ways. I'm thinking of our move this way--lots of new places to experience, things to learn and people to meet.
|Sadly, this trail has a real problem with Coral Ardesia. Please don't plant this at home. The berries are attractive to the birds and they take over.|
|Huge Grape Vine|
|Muscle Wood (American Hornbeam) with Poison Ivy|
|Cool, Dark Path|
|Moss Covered Tree Trunk|
|Watch Your Step|
|This is Where the Bird Action Is!|
|Spider Web in the Woods (The photo doesn't do it justice)|
|Snails Eating Fungus|
|Carolina Mantle Slug Eating Fungus|
I'm too hot (hot damn)
Called police and fireman
I'm too hot (hot damn)
Make a dragon wanna retire man
I'm too hot (hot damn),
ETC, ETC, ETC, ETC AAAGH!
It was driving me crazy. It's a fun song, but only once or twice, and not running on repeat in my brain, and definitely not in the woods while I'm trying to listen for Yellow Throated Vireos over the drone of the cicadas. But I was too hot, and the sweat dripping down my face kept reminding me. But I concentrated and eventually I was able to push "Too Hot" out of my brain and I got back to my tranquility.
|Web of Tree Roots Extending Across the Forest Floor|
|Nom Nom Nom|
|This Skink Has Been Busy!|
Total: 92 (95) June Challenge Birds and 22 Natural Areas