Another hike at Quail HollowPosted: January 30, 2012 Filed under: 365 Yoga Challenge, Adventures in Life, Air, Critters, Earth, hiking, home, Letting Go, nature, Photography, Spirit, Walking, weather, winter | Tags: birds, Hiking, nature, Photography, pond, Quail Hollow State Park, snow, Trail, winter, woods 38 Comments
The male cardinal paid us a visit this morning. He’s being quite cooperative this year, allowing me just enough time to catch him with the camera. I almost (just missed!) caught him and the Mrs. sitting together like the lovely couple they are. They were at and near the feeder just as the sun hit the wildflower meadow so that the background of my photos is lit up with a lovely shade of golden-yellow.
Did you have a good weekend? I did. Sunday, especially, was most enjoyable. Hiking, spending time with family, knitting (and another knitting lesson), cooking, talking, laughing, eating, and then hanging out with M after everyone else had gone.
When we woke up yesterday morning, the sky was the most amazing shade of blue. The sun was shining. And it was in the 20s. Perfect weather for a hike at Quail Hollow.
With all the rain and melting snow we’ve had, going for a hike when the temperature is in the 20s means the ground will likely be frozen instead of soggy and boggy. It’s much easier to hike on a hard ground than one that moves as soon as you put pressure on it.
If you stay on the main trail (pictured above), the state of the ground doesn’t matter too much since it is paved. It is, however, the only paved trail in the park, and only 2000 feet of it is paved. That’s not much of a hike for us. The other trails go through forests (deciduous and coniferous), marshlands, peatlands, meadowlands, and a tall-grass prairie. Most of what were once small kettle lakes formed by glaciers are now classified as bogs and marshes. You can also find a few ponds and a creek.
In the winter, when we have a goodly amount of snow, you can cross-country ski at Quail Hollow. M and I first learned to ski there two winters ago. We rented skis and struck out on our own with one instruction from the volunteer at the ski rental place in the Manor house: “Loosen up.” We were advised not to ski like a couple of stiff, Frankensteinian monsters. Relax, bend your knees, and most of all, have fun. I think I was a better skier when I didn’t know what I was doing.
As you can see from the photos, winter ain’t what it used to be. We would normally have a good snow pack on the ground by now and it would be highly unlikely that we would see the grass again until March or April. Hiking has become our winter sport this year.
M and I decided to hike around the meadowlands and the tall-grass prairie where there would be plenty of sunshine to keep us warm and happy. This required going through some woods first to get from where we parked to where we wanted to go.
It’s difficult to tell from the first few photos how cold it was, but if you look closely at the creek you can see ice along the edges. I stopped to take a few close-ups of the water and the ice.
I’ll have more about the hike tomorrow. In the meantime, just to show you how contrary the weather is around here lately, here’s a view of the pond yesterday afternoon, only a few hours after our hike.
It didn’t last long. Two bands of snow moved through and just before sunset it looked like this:
Tomorrow it will be in the 50s. Go figure.
Thanks for visiting me here in the Bogs today. I hope you had a great weekend and a fabulous start to the new week. 🙂
Wonderful photos – I especially like the water ones.
Thank you, Dounia. 🙂
Love the cardinal images.
It’s warm here today, as well. In fact, it’s supposed to be in the 60s tomorrow. Weird winter, isn’t it?
Glad to hear you had a good weekend, my friend.
Very weird winter, Kathy. Thank you. 🙂
Winter has been crazy this year, huh?? We’re supposed to have temperatures in the upper 40s tomorrow, but that usually means gray skies. I’d almost prefer freezing temperatures if it means clear blue sky and sunshine!!
We’ve had a good string of sunny days here in the Bogs, Holly. I hope you’ve seen some sunshine too. 🙂
I love the icey water shots, Robin. In Australia, they say that in Melbourne (way down south and just north of Tasmania) you can experience four seasons in a day. It sounds like The Bogs should be added to the list.
Little Mr. Cardinal was most obliging in posing for your photo. We had a pair of ducks visiting our swimming pool recently and no matter how quiet I thought I was, they flew away before I could take even one photo.
That happened to me all the time, Joanne. The birds would always fly away just as I was ready to photograph them. I can’t figure out if I’m doing something different lately or not. I must be since I’m getting different results unless the birds have suddenly taken a shine to be photographed. lol!
That cardinal was so red it sparkled. Thanks for sharing.
You’re welcome, Pat. Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂
It has been a crazy winter. Loved the red cardinal with the yellow background. (Birds aren’t complaining about weather I bet.)
The birds are loving it, I suspect, PhilosopherMouse. 🙂
Your pictures are wonderful…the cardinal is vibrant…but I am most intrigued by your clothesline…do you actually use it?
Weather permitting, I use the clothesline frequently, Jeanne. It’s my favorite way to dry the laundry. It doesn’t use electricity and everything has the wonderful scent of sunshine and fresh air when I bring it inside. 🙂
Great post my friend i love it 🙂
Thank you, Jake. 🙂
Great photos, the light in them is absolutely gorgeous. I especially love the shots of the cardinal – I just moved back home to British Columbia after living in Ontario (Canada) for several years, and I miss seeing the cardinals in the winter. Thanks for sharing!
You’re welcome, Heather. And thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it. 🙂
The color on the cardinal images is quite exquisite!!
He IS a beauty, Derrick. 🙂
Nice to see you are back in good health and out and about! The male cardinal is extremely elusive and he glows against the golden background, You’d never guess it was winter!
I’m not sure it IS winter, Tracy. Very confusing weather this year. The daffodils are coming up already. I hope the poor things don’t get taken out by a sudden cold snap.
Gorgeous light in the images of the creek.
And yes, the weather has been strange this year – very mild where I live with little snow so far.
Thank you, Kala. 🙂
50s for you means 60s for me! Meanwhile, the reds/browns in the creek are captivating.
Thanks, Frank. The sunlight brought out those wonderful colors. 🙂
Wonderful photos. Winter hiking is one of my favorite things to do.
Thank you, TBM. 🙂
Stunning photos – the red nearly jumps right off the screen!
Thank you, Anita. And thanks so much for dropping by and commenting. I appreciate it. 🙂
Beautiful photos. The snow picture made me chuckle. Not seen much of the white stuff here this year so it was good to be reminded.
Thank you, Libby. And thanks for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it. 🙂
Love the icicles on the twig above the river, beautiful catch. 🙂
Thank you, Sallyann. 🙂
You flipped your name around! I was a little confused at first.
Those birds must love you… 🙂
I think they love the seeds. 😉
I envy you the places you have so closeby to hike. I live in the country, but I have to drive anywhere to get really good pictures. Unfortunately, weather, health and gas prices have prevented much of that this winter. I am so looking forward to Spring.
I feel very lucky to be where I’m at, Sharon. I hope you’re feeling better and that Spring comes for you soon. 🙂