Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Holiday Walks

First of all, thanks to all of you who wished me well yesterday. I think I just got too much sun on the 4th. I feel fine now.

On Friday, Isobelle's Lady and I went on a walk. What a lovely time we had. First we went to Canadice Lake and walked a trail that runs beside it. What a beautiful lake!

It is crystal clear, and full of minnows.

The first plants we found were these pretty blue flowers. We were both quite taken with them. Of course, when I got home and researched them, I found out that they are Creeping Bellflower, and they are a nuisance invasive of the first degree. Sigh!

Then, we found this gigantic plant. It had to be at least two feet tall. Isobelle's Lady said that she thought it looked like a giant Jack-in-the-Pulpit. When I started asking questions, that is exactly what it turned out to be. Turns out that those little plants just keep growing after they flower, and turn into monsters.

We had company on our walk, by the way. The famous Thistle accompanied us. He was a good boy for his Lady, only getting a little upset when he thought he had to protect her from other dogs on the trail. He is such a cutie pie.

We had a lovely walk and chat. Then, just as we were walking back to the car, we spotted this Hairy Woodpecker up in a tree, getting lunch.

We were both tired, but not quite ready to go home yet. So, we drove to a lookout site near Hemlock Lake, sat and chatted some more. When we weren't enjoying what we were looking at, that is. The Finger Lakes always seem to put on a good show.

I dropped Isobelle's Lady off and, after I went and visited Isobelle and entourage, of course, I headed for home. I had been noticing lots of yellow flowers in fields along the side of the road, and, finally, I found a place to safely stop and take some pictures. They turned out to be Wild Parsnip, another invasive. If you see these flowers, be very careful around them. Coming in contact with the sap, and then being exposed to the sun can cause painful blistering and even scarring.

On Saturday, another friend and I decided to explore wetland area. This turned out to be quite a bust. We walked in on a gravel road, past an area filled with reeds.

We found a marshy stream.

In spite of the gravel road being clearly marked as a wetland trail, it ended at a house. We weren't quite sure what to make of that. But, we pressed on. Our map showed other trails and we did find them. We went a little way, but, the trails weren't maintained, and they were full of poison ivy. So, we turned back and went to the car. Won't bother with that place again.

It was hot, and my friend had never seen the Big Woods. So, we drove there, and had a lovely walk. There was nothing new in the way of plant life, but, on the now sluggish stream in the middle of the woods we found these Mallard ducks looking for food, and having a good time splashing around.

We saw a ton of chipmunks. This little guy was quite ticked off at us and sat on the stump chattering away.

The woods were still, quiet and cool. We walked the entire trail, and had a ball doing so. This is the friend, by the way, who powerwalks. I think she's developing a taste for the natural walks.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Sounds like you covered a lot of miles over the long weekend. Hope your area misses this miserable heat. It just takes the enthusiasm right out of me.

We have the lady bells and the wild parsnips here too but it is becoming more and more rare to find a native plant outside a conservation area. Very frustrating.

Sharon said...

Nothing like a good walk with a good friend! Sounds like you enjoyed yourself! I haven't seen a chipmunk in ages, they are so cute!

sophie said...

Yes the pretty blue flowers are EVERYWHERE in our garden and when you pull them out..more grow because each piece of root grows..NOOOO!

Tina said...

What beautiful walks, so much to see, love the first picture, so serene.

Phlegmmy said...

Thistle is almost as cute as Casper!! LOL. I can't believe how the wild parsnip seems to have taken over the road sides down here this year.