January 16th, 2019
Well now, Joy and Bob are back from their adventures in California YAY! So Joy and I are back to our photo safari's at least once every week again! Bigger Yay!
Actually I've been remiss in my reporting here. We actually started hiking again last Friday and then we went again yesterday. Both were awesome.
On Friday we thought it might be fun to go back to a place we'd been many times before. It's not far from my house, though off island. So off we went. Shortly after we arrived, with not a single photo yet taken, cars began to arrive. A Lot of cars. A lota lot. I mean dozens of cars were showing up. More cars than there are parking spaces. And all of these cars were filled to capacity with excited, energetic, boisterous, happy Young People.
Now not to be cranky old pharts about this, but we kind of like hiking in relative quiet. Even when we talk, we do so softly. Part of the goal is to be at peace in such a beautiful surrounding, capturing pictures of nature. And some parts of nature head for high ground when hordes of noisy, tramping, laughing people descend upon it. So we left.
Now hang on a minute before you begin to think that we are horrible people, let me state clearly and for the record, we like young people. We like their energy and their idealism and their creativity. We like talking and laughing with them. As mothers, we have young people in our lives that we particularly adore. BUT when we are on photo safari, we are not looking for stimulating conversation and a great laughs. We are seeking some zen and some great photos. So like I said, we left that hiking place and sought another.
We decided to return to Carlson Preserve, a place we visited once last year and liked. The problem was, we couldn't remember exactly how to get there. We found a few housing developments we didn't know about, the town landfill and a couple of dead ends first but we presevered and eventually, hurrah, found the place we were seeking.
It's a HUGE place, that, lucky for us also has bathrooms and loads of well marked trails. While there were other cars in the parking lot, we didn't see a single soul once we hit the trails. Ahhh, that's what we were looking for. Peace and Quiet. We wandered about for a few hours and took some decent photos. The weather was right on the edge. Too cool to not wear a sweatshirt but too hot with one. So we did a lot of on again/off again as we hiked. I haven't seen Joy's photos yet though I am looking forward to it. Here are a couple of mine though:
Once we had our fill of taking pictures, we found our way back to the car and headed out for a late lunch thus undoing all the good of the hiking exercise. But really that isn't the main purpose of a good photo safari anyway. It's about spending time together and sharing a hobby we both enjoy! Done!
Then yesterday off we went again. This time to a place we'd never visited before. It's called the Sleeping Turtle Preserve and despite the name, we did not see a single turtle, sleeping or otherwise. Once again, very well marked trails and few people (although no bathrooms so this hike required some discipine).
It was a beautiful place and the weather was a bit cooler. Sweatshirts stayed on for the entirety of the hike. One of the most interesting things that we came across was a flood marker. Near the edge of the Myakka River that the Perserve follows, there was a very tall post that had markings for each of the flood levels of the storms of perhaps that last twenty years. The topmost one was from 2003. That was Hurricane Charlie. I'm going to show you a very unflattering picture of me, but I'm touching the top marker, while standing on tiptop. And I want you to bear in mind, this is from a river that, in the photo you cannot even see although it is behind me.
Now that is an eye-opener for sure. The RIVER was that high! Wow! So bear that in mind if you happen to be somewhere during a big storm and the weather guys recommend that you get the heck out. This is what they are talking about when they say "Flood". Water that is over my head. Now granted my head isn't all that high off the ground, but still!
The trees in this preserve have been there a long time. I know this because we were absolutely dwarfed in the presence of them. Not just figuratively but literally. Here is a photo of Joy, entranced by some birds she had spied in a nearby tree:
Do you see how those trees and even the undergrowth just towers over her? That's the kind of scenery that the very first visitors were faced with when the first arrived here except nobody had thoughtfully cut and marked trails for them ahead of time. Talk about intrepid explorers!
Anyway, we meandered through Sleeping Turtle until we were faint with hunger and then left to revive ourselves with a visit to Dairy Queen. which has well known restorative powers.
It was another glorious hike, a successful photo safari and wonderful company.
I think, if I'm allowed to have a favourite photo that I took this last hike, it would be the double decker spider web. I've never seen one of those before!
You know of course, that we will again be off on another photo safari adventure very soon! Be Prepared!
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Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.