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December 20, 2010
It was a nice warm day to go traipsing around in the woods. We looked at the trails in the Big Thicket and this one we had not been on and was still open during hunting season, so we said, “Why Not.” My favorite trails are ones by the lakes, but this will have to do. It seems there is always more to see by the lake, I suppose because animals go to the water.
On the way there, I tell them about something I read on a website that said because of the influx of hogs in the area, mountain lions are also making a comeback.
We went over what actions to take in case of an encounter with aggressive wildlife. Of course, the kids ask all kinds of questions keeping them occupied for the rest of the drive.
Once we arrived we looked around the trail head and Anna spotted a sign that had the corner broken off. “ Ahh, something took a bite out of the sign…ahhh!” “Oh Anna, don’t be so dramatic!” I scold. The kids are unusually quiet and subdued. We cross a pipeline road and all of a sudden we hear a large commotion of brush rustling and then out of the tree line burst three doe. I managed to get a picture of a brown streak. They were moving fast and low. It was really neat to see. Austin asked if we noticed the muscle tone on them. I say, “Nope, just saw the brown streak, I was too busy trying to get a picture.” Anna says, “Oh my goodness, I thought it was a tiger coming after us!” I correct her, “Mountain Lion.” If they were not nervous before, they were then.
After the deer excitement we all tried to keep quiet so maybe we could come upon another deer. The kids were not their usually silly selves on the trip. Adam tried to swing off of the picnic table on a branch but I stopped him before he did. The tree limb did not look sturdy enough to hold him. Austin looked at some plants and we spotted a couple of hard to identify mushrooms and a funny green patch of plants in the midst of the brown grass.
The trail was about a mile of walking with very little to see. Adam found a stick he was using for his “gun” in case a mountain lion or hogs crossed our path. They had one info panel on the whole hike and it talked about a savanna. I suppose they consider the brown tall grassy area littered with pine trees was a savanna. The open area gave us another chase to look for deer, but there was none. Adam climbed only one tree on the whole walk.
Stewart spotted a Leaf-footed Bug, he claimed I almost stepped on. He was wondering what kinds of things lived under the boardwalk right before he spotted that little guy.
The trail guide booklet said that there were Pitcher Plants at the end of the hiking trail so we were looking hard for them as a nice addition to our Botany discoveries. Austin spotted the Fly Agarics or Fly Amanita, best known as “Toadstool.” These are my favorite mushrooms, they are poisonous but beautiful and since I do not eat mushrooms I could care less. Finally, we come across the Pitcher Plants, a nice size grouping of them was scattered amongst the weeds and grass.
Right before we returned to the trail head we saw this beautiful bush. It was booming with bright reds, oranges, yellows, and greens. It made me think, “Burning Bush.” It is amazing how we humans can not even begin to compete with GOD’s artwork.
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