The woods, the woods

Woke up to a day much warmer and sunnier than yesterday.  Drove about half an hour south to Oak Mountain Park, Alabama’s biggest state park.  It’s quite a place; in addition to the usual hiking trails, picnic spots, and camping, it also has a golf course, equine center, paddle boating rentals, and petting zoo.  It also hosts the Alabama Wildlife Center, which is dedicated to the rehabilitation and releasing of orphaned and injured birds.  We met their latest education bird, a great horned owl, up close and personal.  Amazing.

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Then we looked at some other birds in cages that are still in recovery.  Notable were an albino turkey vulture, two screech owl, a barred owl, a flicker that was hopping on the ceiling, and my first scarlet tanager.

Our next adventure was a hike to Peavine Falls.  It was a beautiful hike and pretty tough — lots of up and down.  I was intrigued by the longleaf pines, which grow from tiny little tufts:


To single-stemmed sticks:


To giant, scraggly trees towering over our final destination:


The water was just a tad too cold for swimming (though we might have thought differently at the end of the hike, when we were both very warm).  So we sat and watched the water.


Hiked the 2 miles back out and headed to a late lunch at a taqueria, then back to the B&B for a nap.

We’ll be going to a singer-songwriter/indie rock concert tonight (Carey Brothers, Rachel Yamagata & Josh Radin), so this will be it for blogging for the day.

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