Life Verse:

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

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Cherokee Ridge North & South Loops - 1/28/2017

Hike: Cherokee Ridge North & South Loops, Sat. 1/28/2017, 08:50-11:30CST
Distance: ~4.5 miles  Difficulty: Moderate  Rating: 4.8/5.0
Conditions: Partly cloudy sky.  Wind calm to light.  Temps starting in low 40s.  Trails damp but no mud.  Evidence of significant rain recently with leaves, needles, and twigs washed to side and down the slopes.  Water still seeping from large boulders.
 Aquamarine water reflected the azure sky.  Some sloughs were almost a neon green.  The ridge-lines and trees helped shield me from the cooling effects of wind and prompted me to remove my fleece pullover less than a mile into the hike.  A small white tailed doe stopped and stared at me near the North Loop intersection with Chimney Rock Trail.  Later on I was treated to a close encounter with two larger does near trail's end.

Crows provided a raucous salute as I left the trail head but I was surprised to find no passerine companions along the trail.  Squirrels and chipmunks were also absent today.  I was surprised by some wild rhododendrons blooming along the lake shore.  It certainly seems too soon for Spring (though it would be okay by me).

Most of the hike was unspoiled by the sound of boat or aircraft engines.  The forest is a wonderful place of peace and refreshing.  Thank YOU, LORD, for YOUR presence.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

New Year's Hike @ Swayback - 1/2/2017

Hike: Gold Trail at Swayback TOLA, Monday, 1/2/2017, 11:00-12:40CST
Distance: 2.6 miles  Difficulty: Easy  Rating: 4/5
Conditions: Cloudy with rain.  Temps in upper 60's.  Light to moderate wind.  Rain was intermittently heavy.  Trails wet and muddy in spots.
Peaceful hike in the woods during mostly light rain event.  It was good to see water in the swampy areas again.  Passerines were busy but no larger wildlife observed.  I cut the hike short due to increasing heavy rain and an approaching thunderstorm.
Conducted some light field testing of the OKC Falcon knife I received from Diane & Robert.  The knife functions quite well.  It is sturdy yet small enough to accomplish finer tasks.  The sheath is adequate thought not the best design.

Water beginning to accumulate in the swamp again.