Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spring has arrived

Well at least it has on the calendar.

I finished getting the sheets hung out on the line and thought about my Still Life project that I'd been working on.  

The house was put in order, supper was already partially prepared and the chores had been done.

It was a toss up.  I could groom a muddy mule, or I could go hiking.  Morris knew what my choice was immediately.  He began to do his circling thing and then poke me with his nose.  
With all the rain we'd had the poor old guy hadn't been out much.  And a Jack Russell needs to burn off energy.

I did too as I chose the hiking over the riding.  I was fairly surprised at how dry it actually was in the woods.  I thought I'd encounter mud slick trails.  
I'm not sure that is a good thing.  March should be a bit soggier than this.

Morris and I hiked the 'high' trial which takes us around just below the ridge.  It is sort of like walking on the edge of a bowl.  The valley was below us and the ridge above us.

We crossed dry runs and downed trees.  At times we lost the deer trail, but would find another one. 


By mid summer these woods will be hard to get through. The undergrowth will be thick and nearly impossible to navigate.
There is a 4 wheeler trail that relatives drive on when they come to camp on the land.  But other than that, the woods and the valleys are slowly getting choked with willows and prickly ash.


When Mike had cattle on the land, it was a pleasure to hike the cow trails and wander under the large canopies.  Since he died and his brothers took it over, it has gone to the wayside.

Fences have fallen and in order to bring it back to pasture condition, it would take quite a bit of work and money.
I still maintain a few deer/hiking trails that I can also ride on.  It is hard work though keeping it clear in the warm months.
Maybe this is why I like fall and winter so much.

We looked but didn't find any antler sheds nor any intriguing mushrooms growing yet.  However the moss was quite lovely in spots where it grew on rock formations.



More climbing...dog on a log.


We saw some deer and heard a red tail hawk.  The chickadees were singing as were the cardinals.

I could see buds on the the briers and other plants with sharp pointy ends.  How is that for a technical term?  Okay, the barberries, multi flora rose, black berries, gooseberries, and probably some other pointy sharp plant that I am forgetting, ...are all getting buds.

I keep hand nippers in my pocket for times I want to get through a rough patch and have no other choice but to chop my way to where I want to go.


We eventually left the area where the rock outcroppings were and dropped down into the valley.
Morris took off running up the creek.  
After 11 years of hiking with me he is pretty good at also telling when we are heading home.

He and I took the creek bed which is by far the easiest for walking.

We eventually get to our portion of the creek where it is dry.  
Water runs on both ends of this dry bed, so I imagine it goes somewhere underneath us.


We stopped at the odd little pond.  And it was very peaceful.  


I wanted to sit and relax a while near it, but then remembered that I still intended to rake rocks out of the yard and back onto the driveway.

I quickly climbed the bank to take a peek in case the wild leeks were poking up through...
and....


...there they were!

That means I should be able to find Blood Roots soon!  

I do love this time of Spring when things begin to appear on the floor of the forest.


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