Monday, August 19, 2013

First Visit to Sanford's San-Lee Park: Thumbs UP!

Judy and I had a real treat this past Friday
as we visited Sanford's San-Lee Park for
the first time ever.  It's a mere 30 minutes away,
and exceeded our expectations.

This building, once part of the Sanford waterworks,
now houses an animal museum and animal rescue center.


This info from the brochure will tell you the
location and give you an idea of the layout.
(Click on map to enlarge)

Upon parking on this overcast day, we set out to
hike the Thoreau Trail which encircles the park's
large lake.  It's a fairly level hike, about 0.8 miles.

Picnic area near the upper parking area

We crossed the bridge then began the Thoreau Trail
to the left.  On another visit we'll take a trail to the right.

All quiet.  The rain would hold off throughout
our visit.

This small heron is used to visitors.

At center is one of my favorite plants,
Rattlesnake Plantain.

Note the intricately veined leaves.

But it's the flower that makes one think
of a rattlesnake's rattle.

I believe this is Resurrection Fern, which can grow
well on rocky surfaces, drawing its moisture from
any available source.

I dubbed these the "Kissing Trees."
Or how about "Dirty Dancing"?

There was one steep section near the end.  It was neat
how the trail was outlined in white quartz chips.

What (or who) goes up, must come down.

Near the end of the trail, we passed the paddleboat
rental area.  We would have ridden them, but they are
only available from 1 to 6 on weekends (because an
attendant must be present).

Joy Clayton!! Somebody must have thinking of you
when they stuck this sticker on a sweetgum leaf.
After that hike, it was off to the Nature Center.
This Water Moccasin was one of numerous North
Carolina snakes on exhibit.

Here's the copperhead.  I thought the one in my
yard a few weeks ago had more vibrant colors.

This is the uncommon Yellow Rat Snake.  I have never
seen one in the wild.  They also had a Green Rat Snake,
the result of a Black and Yellow mating.  All can live in
the Sandhills.

This chunky one is a Timber Rattlesnake.
I have seen one of them in the wild, and it was scary.

This turtle video is for the kids (of all ages).
He followed my camera.

Outside were rescued raptors.  This is a Redtail Hawk.
I had seen one in my yard just this week.  We think
we know where all our squirrels went.

This barred owl seemed to be unbothered by our presence.

This waterfall formed at a spillway reminded me
of the mountains.  So did the whole park.

There was a small, but very nice park for the kids.
But we had no kids with us this day.

Lots of climbing stuff, just in case the trails
don't wear the kids out, I guess.

We finished our visit by hiking the 1.2 mile
Muir Nature Trail.  

Our trail paralleled the mountain bike trail which
follows the perimeter of the park (10 miles, but
with many access points for shorter jaunts).

Look sharp and you may see the heron Judy spotted
atop a leaning pine tree, patiently awaiting a meal.

Here's the view from above the dam.

Liz, this one's for you! Happy Trails!

Goodness!  Did we make a wrong turn?
It appears we're in Narnia!

I thought this was a neat bridge leading to the
wilderness camping area.  I wondered if kids sometimes
wade here, but we didn't observe that.

Well, after all that hiking, I'm ready for lunch.  Just
one more picture . . . Hey Judy, wait for me!
Then we lunched at 121, a nice little sandwich shop
we've discovered near the railroad tracks in the
old downtown section of Sanford.  Then we hit
three thrift shops, not hitting any rain until we
were on the way home.  A really nice day and
we highly recommend the park.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Doe, A Deer . . . um . . . SIX deer!

My Facebook friends have probably already
seen the video of six deer socializing in our 
back yard.  For those of you who haven't seen
it, here are a couple of additional pictures I
took out the kitchen window before the deer
decided to move to a more secluded spot.

Apparently, our guests were two does with
two fawns each.  We've seen plenty of deer
on our property before, but I think six at a
time sets a record.

Just before this video, I barely missed a great
shot of two of the fawns playing "tag."

It was funny how my Facebook post drew
as many comments about my 1973 Mercury
station wagon as it did about the deer.
The deer seem to like it, anyway.
You never know what will happen 
 next around the Loyd place!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Merida Batgirl Izzy and Spiderman in Action

Here is a selection of videos featuring
Evan (aka Spiderman) and Claire
(aka Merida Batgirl Izzy) doing some
of their very favorite activities.

Claire and Evan Dancing Up a Storm

Superman (Evan) Flies

Mother May I?  Evan (house rules)

Mother May I?
Claire Walks Backward to Victory

Evan Leads Grandpa on a Wild Goose Chase

Down a Bumpy Road with Evan and Claire
(Hang on, Grandma and Grandpa!)

Evan Climbs the Ladder of Death

"We're Following the Leader" (a la Peter Pan)

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?
Evan says, "Take Grandma, not me!"

Tube crawling reveals a ladybug

Claire and Evan sing along with
Jake and the Neverland Pirates

Still singing while they're swinging:
"Yo ho . . ."

Spiderman leaps into the wild blue yonder

And last but not least . . .
Claire Plants a Flag at the Top of the World!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Kirby Kids Storm Camelot!

Claire and Evan love Camelot Park, and
during our fun-filled weekend we visited
this cherished place not once, but twice!
Hang on!

Here it is: the entrance to the legendary Camelot.

Early in our visit, Evan and Claire watched with
admiration as this older boy climbed down the tire tube.
  I promised them I'd help them try it before we left.

Claire showed tremendous skill in the balancing
department, crossing bridges and obstacles with ease.

Evan just loved this bouncy bridge.
And he didn't get bounced off even once!

Evan went for the slides a few times, but it's
obvious as the kids have gained strength and
climbing skills that they want to try new things.

Claire is atop this wooden car and Evan isn't far behind.

Evan can have it.  I'm done here.

Good thing Claire has super powers.

Wonder Woman could work wonders straightening
this house.  And I don't mean cleaning.

Evan is all business when it comes to swinging.

But he lightens up while riding this bucking bronco.

Now it's off to the newest attraction at Camelot,
the climbing nets Judy calls the Spider Web.
I like that.  And so does Evan.

Claire likes it, too.  And she doesn't need
a bit of help from Grandpa.

She's gone as "fer" as she can go.

This is one spider web we didn't want to get out of.

Claire's feels as tall as that pine tree.

Or even that passing plane.

And Evan aspires to climb as high as his big sis.
Maybe next time.

How appropriate: Spider Man in a spider web.

Claire--AKA Princess Merida Bad Girl Izzy--
I don't know where we'll find something taller to climb!

Well, it's about time to go home for supper.
Crank it up, Grandma.  
Oh, wait!  We forgot something!

Okay, back to the tire tube, where Grandpa
assists both Evan and Claire with several
climbs up AND down.  They won't need
his help much longer!

So these two super heroes head for home--
and another sleepover with Grandma and Grandpa.
Videos will follow soon!