Yesterday was much like that, the cool temps, the steady breeze, the heady scent of honeysuckle and privet and blackberry, clover and vetch all blending together. There were thousands of wildflowers lining the road, covering the fields, bunching up like shy children peeking around the base of trees. Dragonflies silently wove in and out between our feet, hunting and herding the gnats in the long canyons made by the roadway between the thigh-high grasses on each side. Sometimes one or two, sometimes so many we stumbled like drunks, cutting short our stride suddenly, trying not to step on one. There were green and blue darner and common whitetail skinners, the darners sleek and fast, the skinners large and more clumsy, looking exactly like they way a child would draw a dragonfly, all long ovals.
We saw snakes and birds and ladybugs, evidence of armadillos and deer, there was a huge dead catfish half-eaten and right in the middle of the road. And scat, prints, trails, the occasional crash off in the trees, all signs we'd just missed something, a coyote or fox, a deer or maybe a raccoon. Dead shrews littered the roadway like stand-in rose petals in an anti-wedding. The sun came in and out of the clouds, the wind every blowing, the air warming and cooling like that first glass of sweet tea-still warm from being steeped with swirls of coolness from the quickly-melting ice. Tea like that, you gulp. Air like that, you gulp.
|Swimming snake! It happened so fast, I did not get a decent shot, but it's a venomous snake!|
You can tell because they inflate their lungs in order to float. : )
|By the 5th mile, Chan was ready for a break.|
|We opted to head back, making it a 10 mile walk, and the clouds started gathering!|
Last time we walked on the refuge, it rained, so we should have been better prepared...
|We hid out under the bridge, getting back there JUST as the rains hit!|
|It cleared out nearly as fast as it brewed up.|
|I don't know!|
|Beaver!! We saw two!|
|See how clear the sky got!!|
|By the time we got back to the van, Ben was tired!|
|sunset over the Decatur harbor|
The roots, which contain spigeline were once used to cure intestinal worms.
|Queen Anne's Lace|