Photo Safari at Jelk's Preserve! Woohoo!
We hadn't been there in a long time, I think we missed it altogether last year and I suspect that a lot of people forget about it. It's kind of out of the way. Barely noticed as you drive down the road. We were specifically looking for it and nearly missed the turn. But that works for us because we were there completely totally and entirely alone. Well except for the wildlife of course.
It almost has a sense of abandonment about it. very nearly a spooky feel. The trails are less well marked and it's far more overgrown. It was easy to get turned around for sure. There were a lot of indicators of wild, or feral, hogs which, if we had an ounce of sense would have suggested that we hike elsewhere. Luckily for us, we have more courage than brains because it was a great place to hike.
I mean of course you have to keep your wits about you, pay attention and make it a point to not do anything monumentally stupid. But we are not only canny and dauntless, we also were smart enough this time 'round to bring bug spray. Well to be fair, Joy was the one with the bug spray. I was pleased that I remembered to bring my hat this time.
Some of the trails were wide and obvious, others were just barely distinguishable. We trekked both sorts. Evidence of two difference sorts of trails:
This was, somehow, the hike of tiny things. Joy and I were both engaged by finding very small things to photograph. Which necessitated, bending, crouching, squatting, kneeling and sometimes sitting to capture. Although it was absolutely worth the calisthenics and the associated effort, we were dirtier than usual when we were done. Totally worth it. Sometimes little things are just the most adorable.
As we walked along, we were looking, always looking around. You have to have a keen eye to spy your photo prey. When Joy stops to take a photo, I am looking all around us. What else is there to see in this area? There is always something. She does the same. So it's walk walk walk, stop and shoot and look around, look around, look around, repeat.
It takes us forever to walk through any of these parks and preserves. Tortoises pass us. Snails pass us. We are not in a rush. We don't want to miss anything important like the perfect photograph, or my glasses. Yeah, like a ninny somewhere along the line I dropped my glasses. Y'see, when they are not on my face, I wear them on my hat (as you can see in the top photo). So with all the bending and squatting and so forth, it's easy to see how they could fall off my hat. And with the nice soft grass and leaves and moss underfoot, most things fall very quietly. So I didn't notice they were gone until I reached up for them to take yet another photograph and...gasp...they were not there! My glasses had vanished!
"Dammit" I said to Joy, "I've lost my glasses". I immediately began searching my general area. "No problem" Joy said calmly, "we will retrace our steps". Fortunately, they weren't far away. Joy found them and took a picture of them ( of course). I will be more mindful of them in the future.
We ended the hike by meeting Bob for lunch. Food always seems to be our post-hike go-to. And I have no problem with that :)
I have no idea where our next hike will be, or what it's "theme" will be. It will reveal itself to us the next time we set out. I only know that another photo safari is indeed on the agenda and it will, again, be awesome :)
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.