It has been ages since I have had the opportunity to take a walk with no particular destination in mind and no time table to follow. Treebeard and I have been tied up with work or with house-building related tasks for what seems like forever. Even today I guess I should have been out on the property doing some prep work before the contractor comes in to place the foundation...but I needed some time to just be, so I headed out for a ramble this morning. Treebeard is on duty this weekend and my dog is too old to go for an all-day hike so I headed out solo. It was hot and cloudy, not exactly ideal conditions, but how glorious to be out and about!
The beech trees whispered to me as I walked along the trail and the Spanish moss sighed out on the pond.
Resurrection fern took advantage of the humidity provided by our recent rain...
...and a tiny little garden of twinberry, mosses, and lichen flourished at the base of a tree.
A wrinkled old mushroom gave a mysterious wiggle.
A gentle tilt of the cap revealed the source of the wiggle - an unidentified scarab beetle at work.
Somewhere along the way an unwelcome hitcher - a black-legged tick - snagged a ride . Needless to say, he is no longer with us.
Plus, another sojourner joined me. This hunting dog was wandering around, separate from his pack. When I came along he must have figured I was the next best thing so he walked with me for about 2 miles. I'm not a fan of hunting with dogs and it is particularly irksome when the packs get on the park. This is the last Saturday of hunting season - the woods were full of dogs. Unfortunately, dogs can't read boundary markers. This fellow is back home with his owners now, hopefully with a full belly and a nice box to sleep in. (He was an amiable companion, made me miss walking with my dog...)
Evidence of other more task oriented wanderers...snail trails on a dead log.