Wednesday, April 16, 2014

detour: spenceville

Almost every Spring I take a detour over to Spenceville Wildlife area. It is close by, but with different enough scenery: rolling grasslands studded with oaks, ridges dotted with pine, wildflowers and cows in abundance. In Spring it is beautiful, Summer and Fall get hot, dry and brown. But for a few months it's just lovely.

juvenile cows guard the trail (though run off if you get close!)

glorious oak and meadow

trail panorama

hidden caterpillar on a lichen branch

twisty tree

aged rock outcropping

Open meadows lead to ridges and unexpected views. Exploring off trails finds poison oak to avoid! But tiny creatures and plants thrive in creeks and crevices, if you take the time to look.

the waterfall looks far away, but it is really a short hike

woodpeckers have been leaving their mark

orange poppies shine

purple aster among rocks

cool water pools while pines stand sentinel on the ridge above

The water here crashes in the upper falls, then deepens through this spot. I was curious and got some string from SO's backpack, tied it to a rock, and discovered the depth to be at least 12 feet! A big fish also swam out of the depths as I watched the water go by.
dark and deep (and very cold!)

succulents survive in crevices

froggy friend is so pretty!

froggy poses for the camera

I keep saying I'll go ride these trails. There are enough scary cows to have a Major meltdown: cows in open fields, cows hiding in the trees, cows standing boldly next to the trail. So maybe with an experienced not-afraid-of-cows horse along as a guide!

cows and calves enjoying the day too

always more trails to explore

But I sure like exploring on foot. Getting to see the close-up creatures and plants that I miss when trotting by. Detouring along a tiny side trail and finding a surprise view. And sitting by a rushing creek, taking in Spring, while it lasts.

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