Next round of hikes, a bit sparse for the last month due to all the medical appointments. Wish me luck today. I’ve prescheduled this because I’m in for three surgical procedures this morning.
52. We had a beautiful cold front come through before this hike, so it was in the 50s out and just so lovely. Because of the cold – and the potential for mud on the trail – most of the participants dropped out, but the four of us who remained had a great hike filled with nature. I could’ve done without the wasps (eek!), but hey, we actually saved this grasshopper from a cardinal, and that was fun.
53. This was sadly a hikefail. Apparently the rains that made my last hike muddy did even more damage to this trail! The goal was four miles followed by a picnic, but less than a mile into the out-and-back route, we ran into a creek overflow crossing that was way too long and deep to go through. We’d already worked our way over three thinner crossings, but at that point we had to turn around. It wasn’t a great morning for a hike anyway, tbh. A sudden humid warm front had come through, so it was hot, muggy, and swarming with mosquitos. One of the hikers got the time confused and only ended up making it to the park around the time we were finishing. Because we finished before nine and everything was so wet and gross and hot out, we skipped the picnic. But hey, not every hike can be a success. At least we had some good conversation and got a few miles in!
54. Last year, one of the other hike leaders and I hosted a huge haunted hike at this park, complete with costumes, ghost stories, and cold spots on the way down. This year, we had a large initial interest that dropped to only six folks by the night of. Ah well. No costumes, either, except for Buddy the dog! And no ghosts, no cold spots – how disappointing! At least the sunset was beautiful.
55. A year ago, I celebrated the finalizing of election results on top of the hills at Lost Maples. This year, I didn’t think my body could handle the heavy climb, so I opted for an easier hike instead. Of course, the original intention was to do 2-3 miles, and that turned into almost 6 miles for about half of us, so there’s that. My feet were quite sore afterwards! But I had my nice camera with me and got some great photos, and I don’t regret taking on those extra miles. Sadly, the park was not as colorful this year. Either weather conditions have caused the leaves to fade to brown more quickly than normal (which is what the folks working the park believe), or we were there a week or two too early. But hey, good photos, beautiful park, total worth it.
56. I decided to sign up for this afternoon hike last minute, and I’m glad I did. We saw a ton of monarch butterflies (two in the top left photo!), a fuzzy black bee (sadly no photo), and a man walking around with his 24-year-old parrot on his shoulder. There were also a ton of photographers out having portrait sessions as the sun set – pregnancy photos, couple’s photos, etc. And there was a guy flying a drone over the land bridge. Speaking of the land bridge, the plants have grown HUGE in the months since I was last at this park! Before, it looked like a smattering of plantings, and now it looks like actual woodland. I was really surprised how quickly it developed. I guess that’s what happens when you go with all native plants!
There was meant to be another hike on here – a book club hike for Nonfiction November – but I had to cancel at the last minute this weekend due to illness. Ugh. Oh well.