Monday, June 11, 2012

Into the woods...

I've been trying to walk on the weekends to keep up my momentum.  So Sunday after a wonderful early dinner shared at a church member's house, Rheid and I decided a trip to the forest was in order.  The Duke Forest is only about two miles from our apartment.  We have driven around its edges but have never gone into its depths.

Sign at the beginning of the trailhead

The Duke Forest comprises over 7,000 acres of land in three counties and has been managed for research and teaching purposes since 1931 and according to Duke this forest is unrivaled at any other university.  All you have to do is walk a few hundred feet in and you feel like you're in a primitive area.  I took a picture of Rheid farther in and you can tell how much light has been filtered out by the trees.  They are thick.

Rheid is ready to photograph any critters we may happen upon.

After being on a smooth, oval track for walking at the CFL, this forest stroll felt like I was on a four-wheeling adventure.  We tried to be a little stealth to hopefully see some wildlife but with all the twigs and leaves making noise as wild as it got was acrobatic squirrels jumping from tree to tree; even though I wouldn't be surprised to see a Yeddie around the next bend.  We probably walked about 1/2 mile in before I decided it was time to probably head for the car.

We stopped to photograph this amazing fungi growing on a fallen log.

When I got to the Escape, I noticed something on my shin--a tick! Crimey. How did that get there?  So it was straight home for the tweezers for that little vermin.  It took about 3-4 minutes and one hand cramp before Rheid was able to outlast the vice grip that tick had on my leg.  Can you say creepy??  I had the heebie-geebies for the rest of the evening.

The forest was absolutely beautiful but I can't say as much for the hitchhiker I brought home with me.  Next time I'll leave the wildlife there in its own habitat--like the good rule follower that I am.

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