Life Verse:

"...I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly." -- JESUS in John 10:10

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hot & Humid @ Swayback

Hike: Black Trail, Swayback Bridge, Saturday, 07/14/2012, 09:00-13:00
Distance: 8 miles  Rating: 5/5
Difficulty: Moderate due to distance and Heat/Humidity
Conditions: PCloudy. Lite & variable wind.  Hot & Humid (hey it's Alabama in July).  Trails in good shape.

To lighten my load in the summer heat/humidity, I left the dSLR at home for this hike.  All of the pictures are in my mind!  (The reader will just have to "read my mind"!)

Encountered two trail runners with their black lab (who seemed to be enjoying the trail) but otherwise I enjoyed quiet during my late morning hike.  It was a time of worship, communion, and refreshing!  My kind of hike.

It was easy to hear the rustle of the light & variable wind in the forest canopy.  The shade and breeze were a treasured blessing -- warding the wilting rays of the sun off.  Quite a few passerines kept me company & cheered me with their choral melodies.  Dragonflies were hovering and darting about -- always a special treat for me.  (I don't know exactly why I like dragonflies so much, but I do.)  I disturbed several lizards and chipmunks, sending them scurrying across the leaf-littered floor to cover.  The Big Leaf Magnolias still make me pause and gaze.  These small trees with their huge, broad leaves are one of my favorites.  There is a stand of these prehistoric-looking trees along the Black Trail at the lake-shore, surrounding an ancient, fallen forest giant (probably a yellow poplar).

Great hike!  Thank YOU, LORD, for loving me.

Gear List for today's hike:
Columbia hikers
MountainSmith lumbar pack (1st Aid Kit & ESK; 2 KleenKanteens of water)
Do-rag (I relied on the forest cover to protect me from the sun)
Deep-Woods OFF (works great to keep the "critters" at bay)
Wooden Hiking Staff

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Summer Hike - Swayback Bridge

Hike: Swayback Bridge Trail of Legends - Red Trail, Thu, 07/05/2012, 09:15-12:30
Distance: 6.5 miles  Rating: 4/5
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate (due to heat & humidity)
Conditions: PCloudy.  80F at start and temp rising.  Hot & muggy by hike's end.  Wind calm.  Trails dry and in good condition.
By myself today, though never alone!  Morning sunshine created a gray-dappled effect on the forest floor.  I was very thankful for the high forest canopy of hardwoods keeping me in the shade throughout most of the hike.  The big leaf magnolia and white oaks grabbed my attention throughout the hike.  The white oak is towering and majestic -- easily discernible among the other forest trees.  The big leaf magnolia is an understory tree -- perhaps not as majestic as the white oak but even more mysterious.  The huge broad leaves always conjure up thoughts of prehistoric forests for me!  Thankfully there were no tyranosaurs on the trail today...

Observed many gray squirrels and chipmunks.  The warmth on the forest floor also had lizards and small snakes moving about.  Was pleased to see several different color dragonflies hovering around the forest.  (My favorite insect!)

Thank YOU, LORD, for the peace and beauty of YOUR forest.  Help me always be ready to teach others to see YOUR truths, YOUR handiwork in Creation.