So excited to be participating in Cornell Labs annual Great Backyard Bird Count this year! Just finished printing out my checklists, and making sure the lenses on my binoculars are super clean! So lucky we live in a densely forested area with such a wide variety of woodland species! More info about this event can be found at the following website:
I don't usually participate in Black Friday sales, because I absolutely hate the crowds. I also can't stand having to wait in line for more than a couple of minutes as the cashier processes customers whose shopping baskets are spilling over. Still, if you are looking to buy a new tent, now is the time of year when you can get some good deals on camping gear, especially 3 or 4 season tents. We bought our last tent in the fall, and got 50% off which was a real bargain!
In addition to our light weight 2 man tents which we use if we are backpacking into the wilderness, A couple of years ago, Don and I bought an extra large 11 person Columbus Dome tent that we really love! Don is quite tall at over 6 feet, and there is more than enough room for him to stand up in it without stooping. It is also very roomy and extremely easy to put up, (It took us about 30 minutes to set up on our first try.) Now it normally takes only 15 minutes to have it completely set up. While Don stakes the tent floor down, I lay out and assemble the elastic corded poles together.
We also put down an extra tent pad which has really saved the floor from being punctured from those pesky pine cones and branches that always seems to migrate to underneath the tent. One year while packing up our tent we found a cottonmouth laying underneath our tent. It totally freaked me out, because I instantly recognized the wide head common to poisonous vipers. From that point on, Don took over the chores of packing up the tent!
Just got back from a nice 10 day camping trip to Davy Crockett National Forest which literally sits in our backyard. The spot we picked to camp at is no more than 15 minutes from home, which is nice! We are lucky we live so close to great hiking trails! We found a nice camping spot near the end of one of several forest roads that run deep into the wilderness.
During our stay, we were frequently visited by a Eurasian Collared dove that loved to sit in a pine tree near our tent. It was rather nice listening to his cooing while sitting around camp. He sounded so lonely, we decided to name our campsite Lonesone Dove!
Nothing I enjoy more than hiking in the fall as the leaves are changing color from greens to brilliant golds, oranges, and reds! There was a familiar mustiness in the air, and signs that winter is just around the corner!
When I'm hiking in Texas, I'm always on the lookout for vipers, such as the common Cottonmouth! We have spotted them on occasion, including one that we found hiding underneath our tent pad, when we packed up camp a couple of years ago!
Spotted this raptor nest not far from camp. Most likely it had been abandoned, as we watched it for days, and didn't see any Hawks, etc land anywhere near it.
There are few things more exciting than following a twisty trail through a dense forest. Always have to keep going just to see what lies around the next corner! Sometimes I will just take a break and sit down for 30 minutes or more just to soak in the sights and sounds, and quietly watch for wildlife! Life is Good!
Beautiful specimen of a Foliose type Lichen on a dead tree branch that had fallen to the forest floor!. Lichen are excellent examples of a symbiotic relationship between algae and fungi. Not a Lichen expert, but I am thinking this white lobed specimen may be a member of the Parmelia family, perhaps Canoparmelia texana??
During one of my longer hikes, I came across a very large patch of deep reddish-orange mushrooms that may have belonged to a species of the genus Russula.
Had a real hard time getting my camera to focus in on this tiny purple flower (Lobelia puberula) This species is known to flower in late summer-fall. Not real happy with this shot, but it was the best I could get.
We pretty much had the forest to ourselves during the first week, which was nice, but we spotted several hunters scouting out potential campsites during our 2nd weekend when hunting season started.
Don waiting for me at the trailhead after making another exploratory hike of the area. He had heard gunshots coming from the general direction I told him I was hiking, and was worried I might get shot by a drunk hunter even though I was wearing my bright neon orange hoodie. When I heard the shots, I decided to head back towards camp! After that I stuck kinda close to our camp.
We always try to leave our campsite as clean as we found it!