Monday, April 7, 2014

Panola Mountain Hike - PERFECT Day!


Saturday, the 5th of April, was a lovely day.  In Georgia, we can go from winter to summer in a heartbeat but Saturday was a true Spring day, the high for the day was about 67 degrees.  A wonderful day for a hike through the woods and up Panola Mountain!  Our hike was from 10 AM until 1PM.
Perfect!




The dogwood trees were in full bloom and were blooming all through the woods.

 Ready?  Let's go!  This is at the very beginning of the hike which must be led by a guide, as Panola Mountain is a protected state park, and a National Natural Landmark.  Our leader was Phil Delestrez, who is also the Resource Manager at Hard Labor Creek State Park in Rutledge.  (If anyone remembers Rutledge from my blog, I have mentioned it before, that is where my Dad lives...not at the park, mind you, just in the same area...Rutledge, Georgia!)  It was great to have someone so knowledgeable about trees, geology, birds, dragonflies, butterflies, and wildflowers as our guide! I think that any readers of  my blog might guess that I pestered poor Phil with all my questions!
 So many trees, and can you see that they are almost all hardwood trees in this area...this was about the only spot where I could see the sky, there were just that many trees! 
 Anybody remember this same photo from a few weeks back?  I miss my son holding up that tree on the left! (Wish you could have been on this hike, Christopher!).  What a great bunch of folks on this hike! In fact, if you look over on the side of my blog, my newest follower is Sherri and she was one of those on this hike! Thanks, Sherri!  Hope to see you again on this trail or at Arabia Mountain!
This lake is just at the base of Panola Mountain and you should have heard the birdsong here! One bird's call sounded like "Sweet, sweet, sweet...I'm so sweet"!  Phil told us what bird that it was...but I can't remember the name! Never mind, the bird's song was lovely to hear.

Here we are hiking up the mountain.  Sherri, isn't that you just behind Phil? Bless you, I must have been quiet when I was taking photos.  Too bad that I didn't take many photos, right?  HA!
As we were hiking on the mountain, I looked down and noticed...how can I put this, something that I did not want to step upon!  "Uh, Phil, what animal dropping is this", I said, one of many questions from yours truly!!  Phil, turning around to see, was quite happy that I noticed this and telling us that he hoped not to freak anybody out...picked up the animal droppings and proceeded to pull it apart (with his bare hands!) He told us it was coyote scat and he could tell that it was mostly fur, bones and he even found ONE whisker (a feral cat, was his guess).  For me, it was like being on a hike with David Attenborough (but one with a bit of a Chicago accent!): it was perfectly fine with me! Tell me more!  I want to know everything!
The sandwort (white flowers) were dazzling in the sunshine...
 As were the red diamorpha which now have these lovely white blooms!  Look how thickly they grow in this protected area of Panola Mountain!

One of the MAIN flowers that I wanted to see was the Atamsco lily, which unfortunately, was not blooming just yet...but wait, I told you it was a perfect day...

One brilliant white Atamsco lily in the bright Georgia sun, so very happy to see it that I could hardly hold the camera steady!



We saw this Fulcate Orange-Tip Butterfly on this hike! (Richard took this photo last year at a butterfly hike on Panola Mountain.) Richard couldn't go on this hike with me, which was a shame because he would have loved it!

As our hike neared the end at 1:00PM, Phil told us that he was going to lead a bird walk at Alexander Lake (also part of the Panola Mountain State Park) which would last from 2PM until 4PM and would anybody be interested in going to that?




Dear reader of my blog, what do you think that I said?   You will find out in a future post!
 

Photo: Now that's what we're talking about!

35 comments:

  1. I'm sure the answer was yes, this is a very pretty park. I love Ga. State Parks.

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    1. You guessed correctly! I went on the bird walk at Alexander Lake!
      Yes, Sylvia, our State parks are gorgeous! xx

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  2. Well, I know what I would have said ... and I am sure you said it too!

    Such lovely photos - that shot up through the trees to the sky is my favourite. (I love tree canopies.) But the flowers run a close second. That diamorpha looks almost like something from another planet, doesn't it?

    Thanks for letting us come along on your hike. :)

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    1. Yes! You know me too well!!
      I only wish my photos were better, the spring green on those trees with the lacy white dogwoods amongst them were just lovely. And the diamorpha is also not as easy to photograph, it is very small, but when there is so much of it, WOW!

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  3. Looks like Spring is in full bloom in your part of the world!

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    1. Yes! And we are very happy to see it! Our winter was not nearly as rough as yours in Canada or even in other parts of this country, but even so, I can't remember being so happy to see green leaves on the trees!

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  4. My guess is you went on the bird walk as well :-)
    I think the lake would be my favourite spot of that walk. There is just something about being near water!
    It looks like a nice group of hikers. But I can't see your blog followers, maybe you have deactivated that element on your blog (or blogger has deactivated it for you, or maybe it is just the view with my browser, and everybody else can still see them).
    Looking forward to your post about the birds!

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    1. You know me too well, Meike, of course I went on the bird walk! The lake here is lovely but Lake Alexander is much larger, which is also part of Panola Mountain State Park!
      Hmm. I wonder why you can't see my followers, they should be just under where it says "Blog Archive", can you see that? Very interesting, I never know how to move things on my blog! If I got rid it somehow, I don't know how to get it back on there!

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    2. No, there is nothing underneath Blog Archive, except the blog archive itself.

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  5. I really enjoyed seeing your spring hike. How beautiful everything looks in Spring. The butterfly picture was especially amazing.

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    1. Oh, thanks! My Richard can take some AMAZING photos, he really is very, very good, I believe.

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  6. What a wonderful day, and i can't wait for the next set of pictures!

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    1. Thanks! I must say that I didn't take many more, but Richard took a lot the next day at Arabia, those should make you very happy!!

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  7. Hi Kay! Saturday was really, really nice weather and I'm glad you got to get out and enjoy it while doing something you love. I enjoyed your hike and all the lovely pictures! Hope everyone is well.... XOXO

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    1. Really, really nice,,, you are not kidding! You know just what I mean, it can be BLAZING hot by now, am I right? Enjoy this wonderful Spring, I know you will!! xxx

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  8. Replies
    1. It was great, really enjoyed myself!

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  9. Glad you enjoyed your trip up the mountain and managed to get a good day for it. Feral cat for dinner. The roadrunners must have been too fast for the coyote right enough. Who said you don't learn anything from watching cartoons :)

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    1. Oh yes, I forgot to tell you all the ACME boxes we had to kick out of our way as we were hiking! HA!!
      I have my fondness for classical music from Bugs Bunny cartoons. Gee, I am so sophisticated!

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  10. Looks like it's going to be a good year for granite outcrop flowers.
    I met an Englishman on a wildflower trail in South Carolina last week. He comes over every year at about this time to 'hunt' wildflowers. I suggested that he visit some of our granite outcrop areas next year.

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    1. Hey Joan!
      I am so excited to see your comment here! I would love to go on a hike with you also, as you know the name of every plant you see!
      I love that you told the Englishman to visit the stone outcrops, and I also love that he comes here just to "hunt" wildflowers! Do you see why I say I have an English heart? :-)
      Oh, and if I can't leave a comment on your blog, I love the idea of using PVC piping to deter squirrels from birdfeeders!

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  11. I love the idea of a guide who offers information. Beautiful green color in the photo with the bridge. Oh, my eyes ache for it! Love the Think Outside! Never seen it before.

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    1. Yes, Nan, I have been on a hike with Phil before and it is like a dream come true for me to have someone who answers all my questions! We have even more green now since it rained heavily on Monday!
      And that sign was from the State Park website. Gee, I hope it's okay that I put it on my blog, I hope so!

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  12. Sixty seven degrees? lovely hikes? Dogwood in bloom? Yahoo I say.

    I am sure you just said give me a half hour to recharge my human hiker batteries and you would be ready for another 6 hour adventure.

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    1. On Saturday, I was so excited I couldn't eat any breakfast! And then, after the hike up Panola, I had a Clif Bar and a bottle of water and then, I was good to go on the bird walk!

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  13. Kay, That is a great place to hike. Too see so many pretty things in nature.Blessings, xoxo,Susie

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    1. It was lovely and I am happy that you think so too! Blessing to you too, sweet Susie! xx

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  14. A good guide adds so much pleasure to outings like this, doesn't he/she? Mind you, I think it would be hard not to find pleasure in this lovely place. I look forward to seeing the birds.

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    1. A good guide, yes...you are so right, it really added to the joy of this day! I would have loved it anyway, but I have always longed to know some of the names of the trees, and now, I know a good many of them!

      Thanks very much for becoming a new follower, I appreciate it more than you can know!

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  15. Looks like it was a perfect day! What a wonderful place, and ohhhhh.. that lake. I can just imagine how clean the air must smell -- we're missing it here with those accursed condos going up!

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    1. Hey Janice!
      Yes! It was great! So sorry about the construction so close to you. All the more reason you should get to a park as far away from buildings as much as possible! xx

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  16. Such a beautiful day! Spring is finally here after the winter of our discontent....I do love that sign!

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    1. I love that sign too! I saw it on the State Park website and I love it!

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  17. Lovely pic of you with the bluebells Kay. :)
    You have lots of lovely nature in Georgia too by the look of your amazing photos. Just last night I was watching The Masters on TV, I have absolutely no interest in golf but the scenery is beautiful.
    Thanks for dropping by my blog. :)
    V x

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  18. What a gorgeous day for a hike. Everything looks so beautiful. I can almost smell spring in your photos.

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