Thursday, March 01, 2007

Carolina Beach State Park

As you can probably tell from my sparse retirement blog postings, I’ve been struggling to find good hikes here in Wilmington. (Laziness and a few projects and other distractions, I’m sure, had nothing to do with it.) But, Ryan came to the rescue and shared one of his favorite hiking spots on Pleasure Island near Carolina Beach.

It is a pretty large area, so I started by hiking a couple of trails in the Carolina Beach State Park. Interestingly, there are a lot of similarities with the Big Thicket. The first trail I visited, the Venus Fly Catcher trail, is home to all 5 known carnivorous plants because of the poor soil and swamp. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any, probably due to the recent cold weather here. I also hiked the Sugarloaf trail (minus the sugarloaf section, which was closed.). I did take the above pictures of the Cape Fear river and Snow Cut. This was an area of great strategic value in the Civil war, providing transportation for the needed trade. I visited nearby Fort Fisher with Nicole when I was here last year, and learned a bit about it. The civil war chess game over the area is pretty amazing.
I also took this picture of Lily Lake on the Sugarloaf trail. A bit ordinary now, but I'll make a mental note to return in spring, when the lilies may be blooming. And, there were some small cypress swamps, although none as impressive as those behind Joe and Kathy's house. I'm constantly amazed at the number and diversity of cypress swamps. I thought they were fairly rare when I started my travels.

Then, just as was nearing the end of the trail I saw a pair of red pileated woodpeckers working in the woods. While you know my history of taking pictures of birds, I did have my camera on the highest resolution and got a reasonable picture of one of them.

I plan to visit again soon and check out some of the other areas.
An interesting aside... my Word spellcheck doesn't recognize the word blog!! Wow, are they way out of date!

1 comment:

nemattox said...

You got a great picture of the woodpecker!