Today, I'll tell you some of the details that make a hike like yesterday's something special. Of course, start with a good friend! Having Ellen to share it with made it all even more fun.
Half the adventure was finding the right place, but I talked about that yesterday. Sort of! Most of the directions we had were good, but there were just a couple of missing pieces. So we wandered around back roads for a while, until we found an intersection that could be placed on the map, and then we got straightened out. This was accompanied by lots of laughing. O yes, and quite a lot of clearing tree limbs from the roads ahead of the car, including removing some with a saw. I think this was a pretty good clue that particular road hadn't been driven yet this year!
We wanted the hike to be longer than the short trip from the trailhead to the top. We did some of that on purpose, and some accidentally! Did not notice my warning about following the correct road down the hill. We learned that one the hard way! We followed that easy road quite a ways, just talking about this and that. Actually, I'll fess up. We were talking about times when we'd been "misplaced" and had to retrace steps, if you can believe it. And then we realized we were going west instead of south, and down a smooth road, not a moguled one, and down a gentle valley, not down a slightly steep hill. Oops! Back up we went to the other road.
The part we did on purpose was to wander the ridge in the other direction from the peak, look for views (not very good through the trees). We did find interesting valleys as the ridge encircles a bowl. Then we found a good log and ate our lunch.
We saw so many lovely things. Here are some of them. Too many pictures, but I can't resist.
The trout lily (dappled leaves), and Dicentra were up, but not in bloom yet. The Dicentra is either squirrel corn or dutchman's breeches, but there's no way to tell the leaves apart.
Here's a wonderful fungus, but I don't know what it is. Top side, and under side.
We saw a yellow-bellied sapsucker (a woodpecker), but couldn't get it's picture. We didn't see the porcupine, but there was clear evidence that one had been munching on bark high in this tree.
The spring beauty was mostly in bud. There will be huge patches carpeted with the pale pink blossoms in a couple of days. But we found a few blooming.
We found one lovely patch of hepatica!
And as a final treat, a bright scarlet cup fungus.
All in all, a wonderful adventure!
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