|Exhibit A: Ow.|
We began from the Nature Center, having chosen to start with the easy main trail and all its moderately hilly/rocky loops for a total around three miles. Speed wasn't our focus; there were too many interesting signs identifying vegetation that we both wanted to stop and read. Besides, you can’t hurry adventure. We hit the first loop around seven minutes in. Three minutes after that my foot got caught on a root and I face-planted into the hillside (Exhibit A). Once I stopped laughing long enough to get up, we continued on our merry way. Leave it to me to crater on the first loop.
The loops themselves were fascinating. We had learned from a short film at the Nature Center that the trails cross through ecotomes where forest transitions into grassland, and these areas are weirdly pretty (Exhibit B).
|Exhibit B: Prairie Loop ecotome.|
|Exhibit C: Pretty!|
Eventually we made it back to the Nature Center, where we stopped for a break and Brian was conscripted to take photos for a large group of women also out adventuring that day. After eating our lunch of PBJs and pretzels in the company of a pink-nosed feral forest cat, we decided to go hike another three-mile trail around the small lake nearby. The entire path around this lake is paved, but some of the hills on the far side are just gnarly, so it still made for a good hike. I got a couple of nice shots here (Exhibits D and E), and was able to pay more attention to the wildlife because I didn't have to focus so much on where my feet were going.
|Exhibit D: Nifty marsh area. Also, Brian's elbow.|
|Exhibit E: Lake view from the top of the gnarly hills.|
|Exhibit F: So green! Photo credit to Brian Landis.|
When we got back in the car to go home we were hot, sticky, itchy, scraped, sore, and slightly bloody. When I was a kid, those were the hallmarks of an excellent day. Turns out they still are.