Thought for the day: You can't experience the mountaintop unless you're willing to climb the mountain.
I mean, wouldn't you have wanted to visit such a place?
So I grabbed some bottles of water and insect repellent, (AKA finishing sauce) and off we went.
We were greeted by this cute little guy, who stood right at the first trail we took into the woods. Let's just call him Recycle Man.
Other than ol' Recycle Man, we didn't run into anybody else. Ours was the only vehicle in the parking lot, too, which pretty much assured us from the get-go of finding that peace and quiet mentioned in the newspaper article. We meandered all through the area, followed every trail, and looked around here, there, and everywhere for some signs of wildlife. We came across a community garden and an apiary, but not a single critter. Not one. Didn't even see any tracks. I reckon it was too bloody hot for them. They probably went to the mountains for the weekend.
Alas, the only blue heron we saw was on this weather vane atop a pavilion.
We had a grand time, even though it was a little hot around the edges, but my better half was the closest thing to wild life I encountered at the preserve. Let's just call him Smarticus.
We heard lots of birds. We gazed at Nancy Creek for a while, but didn't even see any signs of life there. No fish, no snakes, no beavers, no turtles. If there were any wild things at that preserve, they were all in hiding. (Except for us, of course.)
Talking about the absence of turtles made us think about Chattahoochee Nature Center, and how the last time we were there, we saw so many turtles, they were literally stacked four and five high all along a log. Really! Darnedest thing we ever saw.
So we decided to go to there to continue our walk.
We no sooner got inside the Nature Center and paid our entrance fee than the skies opened for about a five-minute downpour. You know, just enough to turn that little hot around the edges into an
Really. I'm talking steamy, people. (Didn't do a thing for our dos...)
Until the rain stopped, we wandered around inside and checked out the exhibits. HEY! Finally saw my heron!
How'd you like to encounter a snapping turtle this big in the wild? (He was about two feet long.) Impressive critter, but I was just as happy that the taxidermist found him before I did. And yes, of course, I touched him. After all, the sign does say please.
When we went out into the sauna to hit the trails, we did see a couple of impressive bald eagles, and several kinds of hawks and owls. But they were in humongous cages. The pictures I took of them were pretty lousy, so you'll just have to take my word for it that they were there. We looked all over the beaver habitat, but nuttin, honey. Oh, well. Either they were hiding, or they were away for the weekend, too.
But what we did see is
Beautiful, beautiful butterflies.
All kinds of butterflies. Big ones, little ones, brightly colored ones, dark ones, and even ones with stripes. But for the most part, they were very busy flitting around, and didn't want to sit still long enough for me to grab many pictures.
But, I could've shot a full-length movie of the bumblebees.
Recognize these plants?
Here's a closer shot. Does that help? It's a pitcher plant. They're carnivorous. That lid snaps shut once an insect is lured inside. Pretty cool, huh?
After a while, it seemed as though the trees were trying to tell us something. Like maybe it was time to go?
And so, we danced on outta there, and headed for the air-conditioned hacienda and something cold to drink.
How about you? Enjoy any wild life over the weekend?
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.