I circled our sun one more time yesterday, and one year older as I write, but, thankfully I am still able to explore the beauty of this planet I was born on.
After a few hours at the office, and a nice lunch with my nephew and partner Charles, , I left work early to take advantage of the beautiful June afternoon.
It was a perfect day for hiking, puffy, cotton-like clouds floating in a deep blues skies, with a strong northerly wind bringing us cool, but refreshing weather.
I decided to hike out, and take another look, at the pitch pine barrens near our local Rails to Trails, and the birds I saw there on Sunday.
This area reminds so much of the pitch pine wetlands I hiked as a child. I would have hiked there yesterday, I always did on my birthday, except for the fact they are now underneath an industrial park and residential development. I am so glad some folks on our planet realize how precious our environment is and seek to protect areas like this. The Land Trust and Rails to Trails folks must be given all the credit they have earned for keeping these areas preserved and letting folks visit them.
Unfortunately. I only saw a few birds on my hike in the barrens, a nuthatch scampering down a tree,
a sparrow along the trail
and this elusive fellow, I think a hooded warbler that avoided me for 15 minutes singing, and hopping, among some scrub oaks.
I continued my hike along the trail, finding this late blooming lady slipper orchid, or duck flower.
And seeing these coming attractions of Mother Nature’s net display, our state flower, mountain laurel buds. They should be in bloom net week.
And plenty of these plants, which in a few months, will attract many butterflies and insects, milkweed.
I hiked out about a mile and concluded no cool birds or animals will be seen on this hike, when I heard some fluttering above me. I saw two blue jays attacking a bird. This is a common sight, birds chasing each other from their nesting area, but what was unusual here was the bird being chased, a beautiful scarlet tanager.
And, they chased it almost directly into my face! The blue jays flew off, leaving the scarlet tanager to rest in the trees and let me get some photographs.
This is why I have love the outdoors. Since my dad took me on hikes when I was first able to walk I have loved this planet. And I love walking and exploring it. . You never know what beautiful things you will see, or what type of critters, from ants to bears, you will encounter. Hopefully, I will have many more years left, to, as my dad taught me, keep my eyes peeled, and walk many more mile on this wonderful world we live. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike yesterday http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/Rails-to-Trails-hike-June-1-2017
“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
― W.B. Yeats