Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Going Up The Country

 I have honestly been trying to get back here to make a post way before now but life kept getting in the way.  Well, that and the posts that I wanted to make were going to require a bit of effort (meaning thought and planning) and I just haven't felt like going to that much trouble.  Ha!  Been having a few headaches this week and the ol' noggin just wasn't much on deep reflection.  Anyway, my Mom has been under the weather for several weeks now also and I went up to spend the day with her this week and then I have been trying to get caught back up on my pottery after being out of clay for so long.  And no, I have not gotten any garden started yet either.
 So, since we are so behind and all, Jack and I decided to take a day off and go hiking!!  We have been wanting to try some experiments on ways I could possibly ride in a vehicle without being in enormous pain, so we figured a road trip south to Oak Mountain State Park would be a good excuse and a fun destination if I lived through the initial drive.  I did, as you can see, and we had a very nice hike on a beautiful day.

The hiking trail we chose was pretty moderate and easy until right at the end as you start to descend to the falls.  But if you can make it down it was just gorgeous there.  This is Peavine Falls and they are about 30-40 feet maybe.  Not huge but certainly pretty.

This is one view of the trail going down.  Only for the very ambulatory.  I was very glad we had brought walking sticks.  They came in very handy to brace yourself.  The trails are very well marked and maintained though.

Another view of the falls.  I was mesmerized by the clarity of the water.  We rested for a while and had a little snack while we were there.  After a while some other folks came down with one of the guys smelling like he had bathed in cologne so we had to leave before I started throwing up.  (I could smell him before he even crossed the creek) Why do people do that to themselves?  Can they not understand that they stink to high heaven?  It is not attractive in any way.

Oak Mountain is a wonderful park with tons of activities for everyone.  I believe they have over 50 miles of hiking trails in addition to many miles of bike and horseback trails.  Also, a nice 18-hole golf course, several lakes and many camping areas.

For the most part everything was very clean also.  This one tree did catch my eye though.  It had been so repeatedly carved with people's names and initials that the bark had taken on a very abstract quality.  Almost like some ancient hieroglyph pattern.

I think this is red buckeye but I may be very wrong.  It grew here quite prolifically. 

This is the entrance to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center inside the park.  Mainly they rehab birds.  I once brought an injured cormorant here many years ago.  I don't believe I ever told ya'll that story.  I'll have to see if I can find the photos and tell you about it.  Kinda interesting and quirky tale.

They also have this Treetop Nature Trail where you can view some of the permanent residents of the Rehab Center.  Oak Mountain makes every effort to release all it's patients back into the wild but some are just too damaged and would not live without help.  So they live here to educate the public.

 They had owls, hawks and buzzards, although they called them vultures. lol!

This beautiful Red-Tailed Hawk had built herself a fine nest and even stood up to show us her one egg!  Unfortunately, we later found out that her egg is not fertile, so she's gonna be a bit disappointed.

These photos are a bit out of order but I don't feel like moving them.  Blah!

One view on our way to the parking area for our hike.  You are looking back towards Birmingham. 

By a nice turn of luck we also got to meet this little Mississippi kite.  Oak Mountain is his forever home too because some humans messed his hips up.  They tried to raise him from a baby but did not provide a proper roost, so his hips joints did not grow right and he can't feed himself correctly.  Apparently they feed while in flight a lot of times and he can't get his foot up to his mouth.

He was such a sweet little guy though and got several grub treats for letting us take photos of him.

Oak Mountain has tons of water activities with 3 lakes to choose from.  You can rent various types of boats, canoes etc. or just enjoy the water from the beach.

I always laugh when I hear people say there is no money in Alabama.  These houses overlooking the lake were several million $$ easily, and they are not uncommon.  I also laughed when I thought how that the people in the most distant house were probably so mad they could bite nails when these others built that big monstrosity right in front of them!  Ha ha!!  So much for the view!

It had been many years since I had been to Oak Mountain and Jack had never been, so we had a great time.  Although, I admit, I'm a bit sore from that climbing hike!  If you've never been here I highly recommend it and if you are ever passing through Alabama it's a great place to stop!


JO said...

Fantastic pictures. It's great to have these refuge for the critters.
Looks like you had a great day out.

ErinFromIowa said...

What a wonderful day! Mississippi Kite stole my heart.<3

Sissy said...

Thank you for sharing. I used to hike, until my legs decided otherwise. It sure is good to get outside on pleasant days.

Ed said...

I've learned long ago that if you buy a place for the view, you need to buy the land to preserve that view. With population always on the rise, preserving any view is always going to be a challenge.

edifice rex said...

Hey Jo! yes, we did! thanks! and I got through it without too much pain.

Hey Erin! yeah, I liked that little feller too.

Hey sissy! Well, I'll tell you, we were both a bit sore when we got home. Parts of those trails were very steep!

Hey Ed! Exactly!

Hermit's Baby Sis said...

Great photos, Annie, and I'm glad to see you were out and about again. We visit Queen Wilhelmina State Park in Arkansas, where they, too, have a rehab and refuge center.Last time we were there, a permanent resident bear named Toby was having a tummy ache. He had been too "humanized" as a cub, and tried to be with people while in the wild. But during our visit, he just wanted to climb into the lap of the attendant and be cuddled. Trouble was, Toby was about 5" tall and 300 pounds. You could hear him holler all over the mountaintop!
So glad everyone can see Spring in the offing .....

edifice rex said...

Hey sis! thanks! ha! yeah, 300lbs is a little big for a lap bear!