2017  HIKING, CYCLING,

& RV TRAVEL ADVENTURES

Lake McIntosh @ Line Creek Nature Area, Peachtree City, GA

 

   
 
Runtrails' Web Journal
 
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   NATURAL DELIGHTS: AN ASSORTMENT OF 
TINY TREASURES, COURTESY OF MOTHER NATURE

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 20

 
"Joy in looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift."  
~ Albert Einstein
 
 

One of my hobbies is photography. If you're read only a few of the journal entries on this website over the years, you already know that. Every entry has a bunch of photos in it.

I'm strictly an amateur and I probably always will be, since my goal for age 60 to 100 is "Keep It Simple." I don't have any fancy equipment or even use very many of the photography techniques I've learned over the years on my own or in informal classes.

It's more fun to me that way, and I'm happy with many of the results.


Definition of "narcissism?"  Or maybe just looking for food!
(handsome duck at Line Creek Nature Area in Peachtree City)

I usually don't go out looking for particular photographic subjects or angles. I just have one or two of my cameras at my disposal on most hikes, bike rides, and trips by car or RV so I can take pictures of things that appeal to me for some reason, whenever they catch my eye.

My favorite subject is nature, either flora or fauna -- anything from unique patterns in a rock or leaf to panoramic vistas from some mountaintop or by the ocean:


Cumberland Island National Seashore (my photo, his quote!)  1-12-17

This year I don't have a plethora of panoramic mountain, canyon, and desert vistas like I've had in most prior years. Heck, the only places we've been this year are the less hilly parts of Georgia and two quick trips to Virginia! 

But I still have an eye for small details when I'm hiking. They are easier to spot when I'm going slower, walking, but even when I used to run on trails I'd sometimes stop dead in my tracks to take pictures.

That's the subject of this entry -- a random collection of some of the smaller natural details I've noticed in 2017.

Just scroll down and enjoy!

SMALL SCENES FROM KINGS BAY SUB BASE


Reflections in Lake D on a misty morning


Colorful scum on the shore of Lake D near the campground


Tree trunks reflected in water of a pond on base


Tenacious autumn leaves -- in February!  (2-5-17)


Pine cones that have dropped onto a large azalea bush  (2-5-17)


Azaleas bloom early near the Florida border.  (2-5-17)


Thistle symmetry  (2-25-17)

Above and below:  gossamer wisps with seeds after a thistle has "exploded"  (3-18-17)

 


Little pink flowers on a shrub that reminds me
of the manzanitas in the desert Southwest  (3-4-17)


Tiny insect on a flower  (3-25-17)

SPRING FLOWERS IN MIDDLE GEORGIA


Dogwood at Uchee Creek Recreation Area, Ft. Benning, GA  (3-27-17)


Fragrant blooms on vine along the bike path in Peachtree City  (4-9-17)

Above and below:  Water lily on Lake MacIntosh, Line Creek Nature Area,
Peachtree City, GA  (5-15-17)

 


Drift roses in our yard  (6-16-17)

A FEW WILD CRITTERS

With all the trees, creeks, ponds, and lakes in Peachtree City, we often see deer, squirrels, ducks, geese, chipmunks, rabbits, turtles, beavers, snakes, armadillos, and other wild animals in the water or wandering around the wooded areas (about a quarter of the land in the city is "green space").

A few of the critters are seasonal visitors, but most live here year-round.


Sunbathing turtle at Huddleston Pond


Ripple effect:  ducks at Line Creek Nature Area fishing pond

AUTUMN SPLENDOR

Middle Georgia doesn't have the awesome fall colors you see in New England -- or even in the north Georgia mountains -- but there are some beautiful yellow, gold, orange, and scarlet leaves around Peachtree City in November and December.

Here are close-ups of bright red Japanese maple leaves and golden gingko leaves:

 

 

DEPRESSING, GRAY WINTERS?

No way, if you look closely so you can notice little things like fungi, lichens, and tree bark with unusual colors, shapes, and designs to brighten up your day:


Phallus impudicus AKA Common Stinkhorn truly does smell awful!
The provocative shape of this fungus also grabs your attention.


Wispy agave tendrils


This is a graceful fungus, not flowers.


Golden lichen on one tree, and matching leaves on another


Swirling fungi on a stump


Stacked fungal layers on a standing tree trunk

Above and below:  interesting fungi on a fallen tree trunk

 


Pine bark that looks like it's been painted green


Colorful lichens on another tree trunk

I recently noticed the amazing colors in the trunk of a very tall tree along the bike path about a quarter mile from our house. The remaining pictures in this section show the wide variety of colors in its bark at eye level.

The leaves are gone now so I don't know for certain what kind of tree it is. Because of its size, I'm guessing it's a type of oak.

 

 

 

 

 

Pretty cool, eh?

I'll be keeping my eye on that one when the leaves come out in the spring so I can figure out what type of tree it is. Shouldn't be long now, at a latitude of only 33.4 degrees north . . .

WINTER WONDERLAND

When we got an early, rather rare, snowfall a few days ago I had a lot of fun walking around nearby neighborhoods, taking pictures.

Here are a few photos of pretty patterns and colors from the cart paths and our yard:


Graceful arching branches, bent under the snow


Tangle of peach tree branches covered in snow


Lorapetalum (fringe flowers) still blooming, even after the snowfall

Above and below:  It's too early to snow! The deciduous leaves haven't dropped yet.

 


Bright Nandina berries peek out from under the snow.


We covered our new Yuletide camellia during the storm so the buds didn't freeze.
The numerous reddish-pink flowers help brighten our yard on gray winter days.

Next time you're out for a walk, hike, run, or bike ride see how many interesting or unusual little natural details you can spot along the way. It doesn't matter where you are -- city, suburb, country, mountains, desert, seashore. Mother Nature has nice surprises everywhere!

This kind of awareness certainly increases my enjoyment every time I'm outside, even if I'm just in my own back yard.

Next entry: year-end review

Happy trails,

Sue
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody, Casey, and Holly-pup

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2017 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil

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