Monday, September 26, 2016

Weekend adventures

We went back to Walnut Creek to explore
more of it's trail system on Saturday morning.
I had a short list of things I wanted to do this weekend - hike, canoe, and mow. The only one that didn't happen was the mowing, but if something was going to get left off, I'm glad it was that one.
I carried water for both of us, but we took advantage of a few
stream crossings for a refreshing break.

I came upon this at a rather remote part of the trail and was a
bit surprised. My first thought was that it must have been
woodland elf laundry day, but they are actually Buddist prayer
flags. There's a small cairn at the lower right built as a shrine.
Don't ask me why.
Fungus covered in green algae on a tree.

The forest surrounding the lake at Walnut Creek is a rocky
hillside. The predominant undergrowth is mountain laurel and
not a whole lot else. Its definitely less lush and green than the
Pleasant Grove trails where I usually hike. Not a lot of wild
flowers, but here's a nice mushroom.

It was a hot day, so we stopped every couple
miles for a rest break for me and whenever
we crossed a stream for Maya.
I wasn't really planning an 11 mile hike
but that's what we did.

On the way home I had a couple errands
to do in Charlottesville and then we met
Clay at Champion brewery for a beer.
Saturday evening we went down to
Scottsville for pizza and beer. Maya
was tired so we tried to sneak out
with Theo instead. He enjoyed himself
and Maya was too upset.

Sunday was the first day that was beginning to feel like fall. It was cloudy, there was a breeze, you couldn't call it chilly, but it was a lot cooler than Saturday. It no longer felt like summer. It was a great day for a hike, but my legs were not up to it so I did a canoe trip instead. I did my usual 7 mile float on the Rivanna river from the Crofton Boat ramp to the Palmyra boat ramp. It was a good trip. In the evening we went to the National Theatre Live's broadcast from London of Arthur Miller's "A View from the Bridge." Very powerful production and a great finale to a great weekend.

The water level in the river is very low so it was a slower than
usual trip. I had to paddle most of the time and even got out
to walk over a few places where the canoe could not pass. 
I saw this great blue heron early in the trip. The low water
levels probably make for easy fishing for them.

I got better deer pictures than usual. There were three of them
and they didn't seem too concerned about me.

These two even stopped to pose for me.

But they eventually ran off, reminding why canoeing with
a dog would probably not be a good idea. Maya would have
been in the water going after them.

In the category of "seen but not photographed" was at
least one 
bald eagle and an otter that slipped into the water
from the river bank 
as I passed by, and these two turtles.
 The two dark spots in the water are actually river turtles.
From some distance away I saw 
some activity at the water
surface but couldn't tell what it 
was. That's the sort of thing
you paddle towards and I 
did, finding these two turtles
who swam away as I 
got close.
They are quite fast and agile in the water.

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