Thursday, February 22, 2007

Joe and Kathy's

Looks like the first days of spring, here in Wilmington. Yesterday and today the temperatures were in the 70’s for the first time since I’ve been here. So, I took advantage of the opportunity to hike the woods behind Joe and Kathy’s house. They live between Wilmington and Hampstead and the rumor is that the woods behind their house extend uninterrupted for 10 miles. What a beautiful place to live, among the forest, deer and turkey.

On one hand the hike seems easy enough, just a walk in local woods. On the other hand this is the first time I’ve hiked unfamiliar woods with no maps or trails. And, the terrain was tougher than it seems, with dense undergrowth in areas, creeks and cypress swamps.

I’m not sure how far I went, since the woods were too thick to get consistent readings on my GPS. And apparently I messed up the waypoint, since it still indicated I was 4 miles away and going the wrong way when I arrived back at the house. Thank goodness for the old fashioned compass and navigating by the sun.

Anyway, despite the underbrush, stream crossings and cypress swamps, the hike was enjoyable, with plentiful holly and rhododendron under pine, cypress, gum. And, of course, the water worked with life of all kinds. Here are a few photos.
Flowing creek a few hundred yards from the house
Cypress swamps never cease to intrigue me, with their knees reaching above the water.
A sandhill crane fishing in the swamp

Nature provides a bridge across this part of the swamp.
An endless variety of mushrooms working to decompose downed trees.
More views of the creek and cypress trees.

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