Because bad taste is better than no taste at all.....

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

313: nature hike

Ahhhh.. nature and stuff.
 So this morning I decided to wake up around 9 (which is a bit early for me), and go for a little walk. You know, clear my head a little. My car seemed to know where to go, and I soon found myself at South Mountain. I got lucky; there were only a couple of cars and a small school bus (from some private school or other) in the parking lot.

Down by the creek, and down I sat on a rock and just listened to the water for a while. Little puffs of what I took to be fog drifted around the curve from time to time.

There was a man trying to fish, he looked a bit odd with this bright yellow vest on. I wished him luck, and off I went again.
 I apparently missed the springtime iris' this year, but the rosebay "Rhodies" were beginning to break open, which was almost as good. Those things grow pretty big in the wild, this one arched right over the trail.

I can only imagine what it looks like when the bush is in full bloom.

There were lots of birds around in the trees, but none came down to pose for me, so I had to content myself with their singing.
Aren't we a dainty lil thing??

There's this native plant, called "Pipsissewa", that looks about like this, I thought that's what this was at first. But it turns out that doesn't have striped leaves like this does. This is a close cousin, "Spotted Wintergreen". I guess you can chew on the roots and it tastes like wintergreen? I didn't really feel like climbing the fence to find out, and I doubt the park service'd appreciate it anyhow. 

I took several photos of this plant, and this was probably the best that came out. My camera doesn't always pick up small stuff like it's supposed to.  
Up..and up...and more up....

To get to the waterfall, you have two options--you can walk a mile and then climb some pretty steep stairs and rocks (up a couple hundred feet, feels like), or you can walk a little over a mile up a somewhat steep path and then come DOWN the stairs. I chose the second option--still a strenous hike, but my knees handled going down the steps better than trying to come up them.

This was part of the "up" I took--looks almost like a fairy could go passing by any minute. 
I had to stop a couple of times. I hadn't done this in a while, and so I had to catch my breath from time to time. And halfway up my ears popped, which ought to tell you I was getting higher.   
What's that I hear? Water?

Up at the top at last, and you cross a bridge to a seemingly innocent looking drop off...... But you can hear the water roaring as it hits bottom.  
Going.... DOWN...... ;)

..........................Next, it was time to go DOWN a few flights of steep stairs.........


...........................Till you reach the overlook, and find this.

High Shoals Falls spills over about 80 feet or so.  Last year, some idiot died when he got too close to the edge at the top and fell off. You'd think the big red warning signs warning you about the slippery rocks and to stay on the trail would suffice. I guess not.



I even met a couple of new friends. There were several of these "Millies" crawling around. This one was nice enough to stay nibbling on the rotten leaves so I could take a picture of him.

There are also apparently orange colored daddy long legs.

This one waved his little antenne and said "Hi!"
All in all, I think the walk did me some good. I mean, it didn't really solve any of my problems , but it did get me out of the house for a while.
Next up: some of the rocks and stuff.

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