Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

I took yesterday (Saturday) off.  And I mean really off.  I was so deep into the couch the cushions are just now starting to recover.  So this morning I woke up stiff and sore.  I either needed a sauna or, since it's nice and warm and humid, a hike in the woods.  Starting from Chestnut Lane, I had a good uneventful hike - Orange to Red Circle to Violet to Lost Vista to Blue then Orange back to the car.  Even starting at 8am the air was still and humid - it took about 10 feet to work up a sweat.  The 90 minute hike was great for loosening up sore muscles.

Coming across the Violet trail, a favorite spot is just after the Red Circle trail heading east.  You start to climb a little, moving out from under the forest canapy into the pines.  There's kind of an 'ahhhhhhhh' moment when the woods clear and open to a northwest view. 

Hiking over the Blue, the bellflower have started to replace the wild rose on Hezekiah's Knob.  Moths, butterflies and dragonflies were flying all over.

Ever try to describe birds to people - "I saw a couple of woodpeckers climbing the tree."  "Oh yeah? were they Red Bellied, or Hairy or Downy woodpeckers?"  "I don't know - the one who's head looks like Woody Woodpecker."  "Oh - that's the Pileated Woodpecker!"  Right, now I'll just stick with Woody.

Chipmunks are getting downright, well - chippy!  A few months ago they would just scurry away when I came through.  Now they scream, throw a little tantrum in the leaves, and then run.  They are everywhere, but they never seem to be more than 15 feet from a hidey hole.  So how far does the typical chipmunk roam?  They always seem to know where to hide, so do they stay in their own little area, or do they wander the acres and acres of park?  I've never seen a chipmunk with a radio collar or tag; who knows if this has ever been studied?

As I said, it was an uneventful hike.  There was a deer crossing Mt Carmel Ave as I drove in, but she moved out of the way before I had to choose between the roadway and plowing into a mail box.  Near the end of the hike, I did have a little start.  Rounding a bend on the Blue Trail, I saw a bear!!  Coming up the trail!!  But wait, the bear had a collar on, and a leash that was, wait - attached to a guy walking the bear.  OK, so it was just a guy walking his Newfoundland, but that's a lot of big, black dog.  And when you get into a woodsy frame of mind, who knows what you'll see - even if it's only your imagination.


  1. Re: Chipmunks - they *are* everywhere - and you describe them perfectly! How often on a quiet morning their 'screaming tantrums' make me jump and think unkind thoughts in their direction. But..gosh darn it...they *are* cute!

  2. HG2 - Chip and Dale are cute. The rest of them are just rodents with attitude! Summer Masters starts tomorrow, I'll see if they've calmed down some.



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