Sometimes you just want to hike. Go fast. Just be outside. There are other times when you have to force yourself to slow down and look at what’s around you. That’s what I did yesterday. I hadn’t been out on the trails in a while and I wanted to to see what what going on. Sometimes we get in the mindset that not much in happening in the woods in the summer. I think that is just because the plants are so dominant. We can’t see the forest for the trees sort of speak. The lesson is no matter what season, the slower you go and the more focused you are, the more you will see!
I ended up seeing and hearing a lot more than I thought I would by doing just that. I waited until the rain had stopped and set out. The birds had the same idea – they were everywhere and loud too! Lots of Wood Thrushes and Red-eyed Vireos. I also heard the Black and White Warbler, Wood Pee-wees, and Ovenbirds.
The main flower in bloom right now is Ghost Pipe. And I mean there are gobs of it everywhere! Really, everywhere. There was a spot along the Cassa Burro Trail where the ground was literally dotted with white! Actually, for a plant that is just white, it looked really awesome yesterday. When I was walking, everything was so dark and misty and green. The pure white color really stood out.
All this rain we’ve had has brought out a lot of interesting mushrooms too. I saw puffballs and some coral fungus among others. Fungus is a world I have yet to delve into.
I found a snail, spiders, and of course the ever present deer flies. There are a couple of places along the trails where there are newer canopy openings, and on sunny days they are great places to see dragonflies like the Gray Petaltail.
Speaking of dragonflies, the next couple of days will be great for seeing those guys. Nice and warm and lots of sunshine will bring them out. Already today I’ve seen a bunch, and even had the Swamp Darner land on me! Ebony Jewelwing damselflies are a real treat to see along the trail.
Oh, a few more things in bloom: