Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Birthday Hike (well, walk maybe!)

Maddie's birthday was yesterday! We started the day with doughnuts from Nibble and Mamaw Louise then headed out to the Huyck Preserve and Biological Research Station for a hike. We started out at the visitor center which explained how the preserve came to be a preserve as well as explaining some of the research currently underway. Plus they had brochures for Brian! While we were there Maddie officially turned 12.

Officially 12 on the porch of the visitor center

Then we headed to the trailhead for the Lincoln Pond trail. This was more of a walk compared to what we did on the weekend! It was beautiful however and we got to identify some trees, saw a blue heron and chipmunks and heard a cardinal who was upset with us for being in his woods! We also saw a plant we had never seen before and found out that it is American Ginsing, a rare plant. The researchers are doing a project to find out which animals are eating it and if that is part of the problem the plant is having in being able to re-seed itself. It would appear that is the case. It was beautiful despite being cloudy. When we arrived at the trailhead there was a state forest ranger truck and a couple of guys in uniform talking with someone from the preserve. I asked Maddie didn't she want her picture with them? She said "Momma! I am 12 now. Don't embarrass me!". 

The research station

Anselena Adams doing her thing! She had no idea I was taking this!! 

Lincoln Pond

American Ginsing! The red really popped out at us. My pictures don't do it justice. Maddie will add her pictures to her blog and those are bettter.

A gall! We are so excited to be finding these.


The orange and red colors of a few things really stood out in the grey day.

We believe these are Ostrich Ferns. The trail map said to keep an eye out for them and they certain make you think of that animal!

The wetland part of the walk.

I'm pretty sure these are raccoon prints.

A patch of jewelweed. Brian said he felt like a real naturalist since we were able to identify the plant without flowers.

Another view of the research station.

We will be going back here to try other hikes. There was a waterfall somewhere that needs investigating. And I am sure there are more trees to identify! 

In the evening we went to Perreca's for dinner and enlivened their slow Tuesday night by telling them it was Maddie's birthday. They tried to write Happy Birthday in chocolate on her dessert plate and succeeded well enough for us! They also sent her home with a special italian style cookie for later. Not that she needed it...she got the 1/2 pound cupcake for dessert which she couldn't finish! 

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