A springtime walk

     The area for hiking consists of paths that go off in various directions with loops and backtracks.  There are signs interspersed in the area showing the map of where you are and where you can go.  According to my friends, this opened up a year ago.  It was built by a local hiking club.  There are nice benches to rest at and signs such as the one above announcing a special area.

   I was able to use my “Picture This” app several times to identify plants and trees.  If you saw my previous blog, you would have seen a lot of pictures of Pin Oak.  It was easy for me to notice because it looked like oaks I’ve seen in many places.  Wayne said the tree in the picture below is an ok.  I thought, no, the leaves didn’t fall off and were thicker than oak leaves.  So I looked it up.  Yes!  It is an Engelmann Oak.  “Queer us engelmannii is a small tree....generally evergreen, the leaves are leathery....the fruit is an acorn.”   The evergreen and leathery leaves had me thinking it wasn’t an oak.  I did find acorns from the tree.  It is used as an ornamental tree in some gardens.  Fun Fact: “Engelmann oak tend to be struck by lightning more often that other tree of the same height.”

This is a purple poppy-mallow.  Many of these flowers are more fuchsia, but after research I do believe this is a correct name.

This next flower I though resembled wild strawberry.  It is actually a southern dewberry.  The app didn’t say anything about its fruit.  
Butterfly bonus

Do you notice the little round yellow things in the above picture? Here is a bigger picture.  These are Carolina Horse Nettle.  Don’t eat!!!!!  Toxic!  The fruit here is from last fall.

The next flower was one of our favorites.  It is a Tenpetal Thimbleweed.   A species of wind flowers. We saw them in various shades of purple like lavender, deep purple, bright purple, and white.  

Here is a cedar elm.

We noticed this plant along the ground.  It was about a foot across, by itself, very noticeable.  The leaves are fuzzy.  It is a common mullein.  This is considered an unwanted plant.  The names it also goes by are interesting; Beggar’s blanket, Aaron’s rod, Woolly mullein, and Jupiter’s staff.  More fun facts.  Mullein comes from the Latin word “Mollis” meaning “soft”.   The leaves can get very large.  You can use the leaves inside shoes and clothing to keep yourself warm, thus the name beggar’s blanket.  It is mentioned in Anderson’s fairy tales.  It grows a stock in the middle that has pretty yellow flowers.  Interesting plant.
Here is a little friend.  I wish I knew more about adjusting color on pictures to make the snail more clear.
Another nice garden, the Cairn Garden.

Here is a stream bed waiting for a nice, heavy rain.

Both Barb and I admired the bark on the Juniper trees.

Here is a pic of Barb and I!  I am so disappointed in myself for not getting a picture of Barb and Wayne together!  

Barb had been a Special Ed teacher at my school.  She had some interesting themes.  One was pig week.  It was a big deal.  She doesn’t collect them, but she does have one in her front yard.  I wore my special St Patrick’s Day leggings because I knew she would appreciate it.  My family had a tradition on SPDay where the little people would come and hide something.  It was always something inexpensive.  One year it was purple socks.  One year a bracelet with rocks.  I had brought Barb’s dogs some Alaskan Yummy Chummies and I hid them outside.  It was such fun.  Richard thought it quite odd.  
We are currently at a spot where I may take nature pictures, but there really isn’t much to do with the COV19 virus where I would be taking pictures.  I’m not bored.  I can crochet, watch TV, read a book, ride my bike.  We had good weather until today.  It was down to the 40’s with windchill.  I wore my gloves!  But it will warm up again in a few days. 
Ta-ta for now!