I didn't think there would be anything to report today, but there were lots of surprises on my hike. The hike went much slower than usual, but not entirely because I haven't had a real hike in about a month. Before I could even get on the trail I was attracted to something bright red on the side of the road. Berries. I always want to eat berries when I find them, but I'm not sure what most of them are so I resist. Not today. They were raspberries! I was picking and eating them, but then I decided to take my sandwich out of its ziplock bag and use the bag to collect berries. I got an entire bag full! So, since I kept stopping all along the trail, the hike that normally would take me less than two hours took me two and a half. I had so much fun. Free, organic raspberries! When I got to the end of the first trail I found another surprise--Blackberries. There was one large blackberry bush, but not many of them were ripe. I found one huge, black blackberry and it was so juicy and sweet. I managed not to get too scratched up--I remember climbing around in the berry patch behind my great grandma's house and getting pretty torn up. I used my long arms to reach as many berries as I could.
These really ripe ones were just out of reach! My bag was full about three-quarters of the way through the hike, so after that all I could do was pick and eat--so that's what I did.
Critter spotting: Today was also a great day for critter spotting. My hearing seemed especially sensitive today (maybe because I didn't have headphones in and I was paying attention) and I caught sight of 5 deer! This particular deer was walking right towards me. I kind of wish I'd waited just a bit longer to take the photo. When he finally saw me he freaked and took off. I also saw a few squirrels, birds, bees, wasps, spiders, and lots of zebra striped butterflies. I finally saw one of the woodpeckers too. I picked a few bugs along with the berries and had to pull a praying mantis nymph and a couple of stink bugs out of the bag.
I don't know what kind of flower this is, but it smelled good, like a tuberose, but not nearly as strong. The bugs seemed especially attracted to it. There are at least four insects in the photo, and I'm pretty sure there is a butterfly on the backside. I sure am glad I forced myself to get out and go hiking today.
Bacon Ale Cheese Dip
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