Saturday, August 23, 2008
Hike: Mountain Creek, Sat., 8/23/2008, 08:00-11:30
Distance: 5.6 miles
Conditions: Tropical Storm Fay coming south of us. Cloudy, light rain. Moderate wind gusts.
It was great to be in the woods during a tropical system. I know that may sound weird, but it reminded me so much of my youth at home - hiking in the forest behind home and feeling the comforting wind blow through the trees and the broom sage. Speak to my heart, LORD GOD.
Rain was not very heavy during morning hours - mostly light to heavy sprinkles, intermittently. Many birds observed and one very small green lizard seen on the way out. Temperature and windy conditions were quite enjoyable. I was really out of the woods before Fay became an issue in our area.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Hike: Pine Beach Trail, Bon Secour NWR, Saturday, 8/16/2008 11:30-13:30
Distance: 4 miles advertised (more like 3.5)
Conditions: Cloudy, occasional sprinkles, warm, muggy, breezy
C.O.M.E. #7 Gulf State Park / Bon Secour NWR. Glenn, Emily, Jonny, Martha, Nathan, April, Sabrina, and me on this expedition. Em, Nate, April, & Sabrina stayed at the beach pavilion while the rest of us drove to Bon Secour (9 miles) for hiking on the Pine Beach Trail. The cloud cover and occasional sprinkle made the heat and humidity factor comfortable. I had never hiked in a salt marsh or high dune area before and this was a special experience.
Observed an Osprey, Great Blue Heron, numerous small crabs and fish, many, many shore birds. Saw quite a few burrows in the dunes but did not see a beach mouse. Being elusive, we did not observe any alligators either. Even though you know the Gulf is ahead, one is not adequately prepared for the panoramic vista that unfolds before you when you clear the high dunes and see the beach!
LORD, this is such a special place. Thank YOU for making it and for allowing me to share it with those that are so special to me.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Hike: Mountain Creek, 08/09/2008, 07:30-11:00
Distance: 5.1 miles
Conditions: Sunny; High 60's; low dewpoint; light breeze. Warming up, but almost fall-like.
Very good hike. First time in a long while that I was not hurried or had other things pressing me -- I am not on call this weekend and there is nothing planned at church or with family today. Thank YOU, FATHER, for this time of peace and reflection. Gorgeous red headed woodpecker in the pine upland area -- vividly contrasted against the bright blue sky and stone gray dead tree. Many birds about. Velvet ants and cicada observed.
I thought a lot about our Great Western Expedition in June-2009, about late Fall trip to Phoenix, and about our upcoming Expedition to Gulf State Park. Work in all of these, LORD.
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Hike: Kayak Exploration - Tallapoosa River near Ft. Toulouse, Wetumpka, AL, 8/2/2008, 09:30-12:00
Distance: 4 miles (estimate)
Conditions: Mostly sunny. Very hot and muggy. Clouds gathered around midday but no rain.
Difficulty: Easy (Except that heat was bothersome)
Launched from Ft. Toulouse boat ramp. Nice exploration of Tallapoosa River around the National Historic Site. Lots of back waters, islands, and sloughs. Many herons and egrets. Saw hawk diving for fish! Some small sand pipers along the beach. Explored one island beach on foot. Very hot today - almost got too hot (tshirt was drenched with sweat). Guess I should have taken a dip in the river! Kayak makes it possible to get close to wildlife and explore shallow areas. Photographed whitetail deer coming from National Historic Site area. She swam the Tallapoosa River to other side! Thank YOU, LORD, for this special time and place.