Entries to Win Afghan

Sign up to receive the Books Leaving Footprints Newsletter. Comes out occasionally. No spam. No list swapping. Just email me! jhyshark@gmail.com Previous gifts include a short story, a poem, and coupons. Add your name, and don't miss out!

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Burr Oak Bluebird of Happiness- Day 81

  Here's the Burr Oak bluebird of happiness. We had nice sunshine, but the wind was like knives of ice. We were almost always too hot or too cold depending on the shelter from the wind, but it's impossible to be unhappy with a cheerful bluebird beside us. bluebird

The Burr Oak Reservoir is formed by damming Sunday Creek. It has numerous narrow arms and the trail goes 3/4 of the way around the lake. Lots of small arms. Burr Oak Reservoir

We'd received good information from the Buckeye Trail Association office. We were not surprised that we had to leave the trail and go higher into the woods to get around this section. It wasn't difficult. There were a couple of other places where we had to do something similar. The dam is for flood control, so when the water is being held behind the dam for later release, it rises and floods parts of the shoreline, including some of the boat docks and parts of the trail.

The really funny thing is that both times I've hiked here, it's been flooded! flooded trail

The park has rock walls and caves. Not on the scale of some nearby places, but nothing shabby either. caves at Burr Oak State Park

I don't know what caused these odd brown icicles. I wonder if there was a decaying fungus in the log that was incorporated into the water as it dripped. It had to be something with a different viscosity from water to create the odd shapes. brown icicles

It was a day for great finds- an empty painted turtle shell, more orchid leaves (Crane Fly and one of the Cypripedium), we watched geese land on the ice and go sliding all over the place- I laughed and laughed, Denali walked into a bar, something had dragged a deer skeleton into the road. (Denali and the bar? She walked into a barrier bar while watching some other geese!)

And at the end of the day, a pair of bald eagles entertained us! Not such a good picture, but proof. bald eagle

We walked 15.5 miles, and 13.1 of them were on natural trail. We are feeling awesome! And it feels good to be back on the track of the number of miles I hope to do.

Miles today: 15.5. Total miles so far: 1023.8

Bonus Section 1: Needle Ice

I learned about a new phenomenon today- Needle Ice (sometimes called frost flowers, but I find this confusing, since there are flowers with this name). First, we were noticing rough patches in the ground that were sort of like low rotting tree stumps. needle ice

But the vertical parts were not wood, but pillars of ice with dirt on top of them! Here are some of the needles broken up. needle ice

This is caused when there is flowing water under the surface of the ground, or in this case under layers of leaves and/or silt and mud. When the air falls below freezing, like at night, the water becomes supercooled and grows these pillars of ice. Since the actual temperature never really warmed all day (some partial sunshine warmed things from time to time, but it was cold), we were still finding these in the afternoon. needle ice

Isn't the world a wonderous place?

Bonus Section 2: Obstacles

Not too many tree obstructions today, but here's a fun one. Also a big one- the trail is directly under me. climbing over a fallen tree

And near the end of the day we had to get from the flooded steps at the end of the bridge to the puncheon with 3 good bags between us. This is like one of those puzzles about how to get the wolf and two sheep across the river in one boat, but you can only take two animals at a time and never leave a sheep with the wolf. flooded bridge

And then walk the frozen plank! We debated taking a long road walk around, but Denali finally asked me what I would do if I were alone. I unequivically said I'd go ahead. So we did. And we made it- all dry feet! frozen puncheon

See Flooded!


Sue Teeters said...

Beautiful pictures with such an interesting write up. Your journey sounds amazing. Keep on safely treking, Joan!

Unknown said...

What an adventure! Nice capture of the eagle, and the info on the needle ice is very interesting. Never knew what caused it. Glad you had a great day! April

The Oceanside Animals said...

Charlee: "Bird."
Chaplin: "Bird."
Charlee: "Birdy birdy bird."
Chaplin: "Bird birdy bird bird."
Charlee: "AAAAIIIIEEEE eagle!!!"

Ann said...

Such a pretty little blue bird.

"Denali walked into a bar." Sounds like the opening line of a joke...lol

The Furry Gnome said...

That needle ice is fascinating!

Sharkbytes said...

Sue- Yesterday was really an overload of goodness

April- At least I got the eagle instead of blank sky :D

Charlee- we have seen lots of great birdies you would love, but a lot of BIG birdies that might love you.

Ann- I find it fantastic that many bluebirds overwinter.

Stew- I had never seen it before.