Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Day Before and the Week Before

The day before we did the big hike on the Rail Trail, I was working on a Saturday.  Fortunately, the "job" was helping out with study sessions for the County's Envirothon.  Technically it's work, but it was a lot of fun, too.  I was reviewing how streams and rivers work with enthusiastic 3rd and 4th graders.

These sessions take place in Nixon County Park, which has a large Nature Center.  Here are some shots from this last Saturday.

Frogs were abundant, multiple types.  This was the only one I found who wasn't actively working at making new baby frogs :)  Like these:

Some other early signs of spring were showing.  I believe these are blooms of the small shrub called Witch Hazel.  I forgot to break a stem and check the smell - Witch Hazel smells like the stuff you can buy in drug stores.

Now what I didn't tell you is that two Saturdays ago, Justin and I worked the afternoon study sessions together and walked around nearby Lake Williams beforehand.  This gave us something over 5 miles of hiking through pretty gentle terrain.  Lake Williams and Lake Redman are local water reservoirs and are each the center of a County Park.

Here's the tail end of Lake Williams.  The dam for Lake Redman is just across the road.  It was on this hike that I saw my first true wildflowers of this year, some lovely Coltsfoot.  I was fortunate to catch a bee at just the right moment.

There were a lot of Double-Crested Cormorants in the area.  I assume some were migrating through and some are here to stay.  I think I counted well over 30.  One of the funny things about Double-Crested Cormorants is that a lot of times you have to catch them at just the right angle to see their crests.  But not so with this guy, he (or she) is really rocking the hairdo.

Excuse the awkward view through trees, I thought the hair was worth it :)

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