Monday, August 22, 2016

saturday in saxapahaw

During warm weather months, folks gather on a shady hillside in Saxapahaw to spend the evening listening to musicians perform. A farmer's market is set up, crafts people sell their wares, food trucks bring in munchies and families settle in for all kinds of fun.
 It's community at it's best.
 Jonathan Byrd and Johnny Waken...just awesome.

 Much bubble fun!
 Tree climbing, show watching fun!

 Families having fun!
Listen to "I am an Oak Tree" here. Jonathan Byrd and the Pickup Cowboys!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

a hike through mason farm biological reserve

Some time during the 1740's, the Morgan family settled in southeastern Orange County, NC. (Morgan - as in Morgan Creek - for you James Taylor fans). In 1894, Mary Morgan Mason, one of the last descendants of the Morgan family, gifted the farm and it's property to the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. Much of the property has reverted back to woodlands now and parts of the forest are 150 years old and contains trees that are over 300 years old. Amazing. There's a 65 acre ancient forest that has been continuously forested (never plowed or clear-cut) since before European settlement. The old fields, open since before the Civil War, are being rehabilitated to their wet meadow and Piedmont prairie states. Mason farm is 367 acres, set aside for study, contemplation, appreciation and exploration. On this day we hiked through slowly, to listen, explore and enjoy. The only sound was birdsong, summer insect noise and the occasion deer bounding through the woods.
When you see a tree in the woods, bent awkwardly but purposefully like this, you know that you've come across on old native Indian trail.
It was mid-day when we arrived so the birds were hiding in the shady growth,
but the dragonflies were everywhere!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

down by the river - hillsborough's river walk

Both the Eno and the Haw run through our area, along with hundreds of creeks and tributaries. No matter what town we're in, there is river access for hiking, sitting, swimming, kayaking, whatever your heart desires. Add to that the lakes and ponds and we are decidedly water rich and it's a perfect way to spend some time. On this day we headed to Hillsborough and hiked one of the Riverwalk trails.
You don't have to meander far along this trail before coming upon Patrick Doughterty's Stickwork installation. It's a one-of-a-kind bent sapling sculpture that was commissioned by the Hillsborough Arts Council. Five towers and one central tower, all created using elm, sweetgum and sugar maple, complete with windows and an oculus in the central ceiling so visitors an view nature from within the framed observatory.
Then down to the river, to sit on the huge rock outcroppings.
The river winds it's way under an old train trestle,
giving hikers a rare view of the underside, footings, etc.

Riverwalk is a part of NC's Mountain-to-Sea Trail but is an easy walkabout for those of us who want to spend a day in the woods or an afternoon on the river.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

bass lake, blowing rock nc

We're having a heck of a heat-wave this week, so I'm getting a little bit of relief by gazing through photos of our recent visit to the mountains.
Triple digits here and how I long for the breezy, cooler mountain air!
 Moses Cone Manor sits up high on the Blue Ridge Parkway
and from the porch you can spy Bass Lake down below.
We often will hike the carriage road trail between the manor and the lake.
A nicely strenuous trek through dense forest, also enjoyed by people on horseback.

 Then down to the lake itself where the paths are shared with other hikers, joggers, dog-walkers and of course, more horses. It's not unusual to see kids fishing (it's called Bass Lake, after all) and on this day, one resourceful woman was napping in a hammock set up lake-side. So peaceful.