When a rainy morning turned into a fair and cool afternoon,
Judy and I headed to Weymouth Woods for an hour or so of hiking.
We were sure we'd get exercise, but we saw more natural wonders
than we had bargained for.
|We began our hike on the Pine Barrens Trail which follows rolling|
hills and valleys through ever-present groves of longleaf pines and
other plants native to the Sandhills.
|The darkened trunks are evidence of a controlled burn in the|
not-too-distant past. It's all for the health of the ecosystem.
|We were surprised and delighted to see Birdfoot Violet along the|
trailside. We were to see many more along the way.
|This is Trailing Arbutus, a late winter/early spring bloomer.|
Never had either of us seen it in such abundance as we saw
along these trails today.
|I haven't identified this colorful species yet.|
|This is Cranefly Orchid, a dainty one-leafed plant which also|
grows on my SFL Nature Trail.
|This is the purple underside of Cranefly Orchid. Each plant may|
produce a single flower later in the season. Or not!
|As you can see, those Cranefly Orchids were not solitary specimens.|
|This is Wild Ginger, another favorite from the SFL Nature Trail.|
|Rattlesnake Plantain, whose white blooms resemble a rattler's rattle.|
|The whole colony of Rattlesnake Plantain|
|Wild Iris looks similar to the Birdfoot Violet, but their stems and|
leaves are easy to distinguish.
|Pipsissewa, or Spotted Wintergreen. This was my "Indian Name"|
at Camp Cherokee 45 years ago and will always be a favorite of mine.
|The Pine Barrens Trail gave way to the Gum Swamp Trail with|
great differences in flora and fauna.
|This is James Creek, which bisects the Weymouth Woods Preserve.|
|The sign for the foot bridge didn't specify if this refers to footwear|
or "cottonmouth" moccasins.
|This boardwalk allowed for close-up observation of the swamp.|
|Evidence of deer on the tree|
|This is not a closeup, but we startled and WERE startled by the|
takeoff of a large Sandhill Crane. Look to the center and to the
right to see it in flight.
|I can't see the crane in this picture, but it's there, blending in nicely.|
Judy and I watched it for ten minutes or more before starting our
Here's video of the crane in his swamp environment.
There's not much motion, but I was able to zoom in
for a good look. This was a highlight of our walk,
needless to say.
|The Sandhill Crane is easily hidden in the tangle of branches and|
reeds of this habitat.
|Another herb I haven't identified yet.|
|On our route back to the ranger's station, Judy spotted these|
"fiddletops" of Cinammon Ferns. They will soon unfold in splendor.
This was a fitting specimen as our stroll drew to an end,
because it was a reminder of just how many other spring
wonders await. There will be many more walks and many
more pictures. I hope you enjoy some Spring walks yourself.