Yesterday's hike was an adventure filled with Surprises! I love when that happens.
First of all, one of our favourite preserves re-opened at long last! Woohoo! As Joy and I were trying to decide where to hike yesterday, Joy suggested that we do a drive-by peek at Mabry Carlton just to see if the gates were still firmly shuttered. If they were, as we suspected, then we could move along to another option. But instead, to our delight, after months of being closed, the gate was wide open! Yay! We headed right on in and thank you very much :)
Our next surprise was this little frog! (above photo) It's been long enough since we've been to Mabry Carlton that we weren't absolutely certain that we remembered all of the various trails. And it's certainly possible that during the closure, some changes may have been made. It made sense to grab a map, just in case we needed it later. So Joy flipped up the lid on the map holder and found this little guy! Very cute.
We had a hard rain the night before so regardless of what trail we chose, we knew that there would be a lot of wet. But we were prepared. Joy wore her oldest, most beat-up sneakers and for a change, I decided to wear my good old Colorado hiking boots. As it turned out, it was an excellent decision. These may now be my permanent hiking footwear of choice.
Initially, since we get started just as the light comes up, everything was pretty well drenched; the ground, the plants, the trees and ultimately us. And no matter what trail we headed down, we kept having to turn back due to flooding. Dang. Was this going to be a bummer of a surprise where all of the trails were flooded out? We hoped not.
But we kept trying, trail after trail. Sometimes we just slogged on through the water, but other times, it was too wet, too deep, or too murky. I don't especially care to wade through water that isn't clear. Who knows what else is in there! A surprise we would not be in favour of!
Eventually we found a trail on higher ground with less flooded areas and we began to feel as if we were making more progress.
Perhaps it was because of the rain, or maybe the day, or even just the time of year, but it was a terrific day for insect photography. That was a Great Surprise!
The next terrific surprise was that yesterday's hike was an especially good bird hike. We didn't just hear them, for a change, we actually laid eyes (and cameras) on them! Hurrah! All sorts of birds! And one of them, as it turns out, is an endangered species bird and We Saw It! So kind of a double surprise
At some point, we spied something through the trees deep into the wooded area, that just didn't look "right". That is to say, it didn't look like, well, nature. We decided to check it out and found, to our surprise, an old shack! Wow! That was unexpected.
There were, as always, beautiful flowers, most of which are a total surprise to me because I have no idea what they are. I always marvel at the variety of colour, size, shape and, well just the existence of such beautiful flowers in the wild. I know that, technically, most of them are probably weeds, but let's be generous and refer to them as wildflowers. That is so much kinder, don't you think?
It was one of the best hikes we've done in a bit. We ended up getting a little turned around toward the end. I refuse to say lost because obviously, we found our own way out (thanks to that map Joy got from the frog at the start). But it was more than 4 hours later that we hauled our tired butts back into the car. We were hot, filthy, wet, bug bitten, sweaty, hungry and thirsty. All signs of another great hike, Regardless if we ever find anything to photograph, we always enjoy our time together. Mostly because, it's time together. The photos and the surprises were a wonderful bonus.
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.