The early sun managed to burn through the damp chill that had cloaked the morning. Brilliant shimmering rays illuminated the canopy of changing leaves. Tulip Poplars boasting yellow, Oaks sporting russet, and the stunning reds of Dogwoods, Virginia Creeper and Maple. There's still plenty of green in the backdrop as we are still in the early days of autumn, but color was everywhere. As we gaited down the trail the smell of wet leaves added seasoning to their beauty.
Light shafts stabbed through the tree tops highlighting red clay, moss and puddles. Shadows dancing on the puddles, and the occasional frog splashing in them, caused Kessy to take a few abrupt sidesteps, keeping my attention focused on my seat, as well as the beauty of the morning.
Down the trail we glided. It was truly an exceptional bird watching trail ride. Even as we rode up our escarpment trail toward the logging road, Saturday, Kessy and I were greeted by a pair of Cardinals happily bouncing about in the underbrush. Just a short way along the logging road a Pilliated Woodpecker never bothered to acknowledge us as he ripped and tore at a rotting old trunk.
As we turned away from the logging road and onto the trail I've christened, "Little Bear Trail" because once while crossing the short bridge there a little black bear crawled out from under it, a small flock of Chickadees were busy working over the seed pods on spent Jo Pye Weed stalks. A few Goldfinches added some color to the scene, even though their shiny yellow had already been traded in for the drab olive green of winter plumage.
We paused to watch a Nuthatch scamper up and down a mighty Oak's trunk. Tiny blue, black and white Nuthatches are one of my favorite birds. They are always so very happy as they hurry and call, "Yunk, Yunk, Yunk." From higher up in that same oak a Blue Jay shrilly told Kessy, Saturday and me to move on. So we did.
The next sighting still fits in the bird watching theme, because I've always said whatever you see while bird watching is part of the day's journey, be it birds, leaves, flowers, animals or turtles. Yup, turtles. Kessy stopped to have a look at the brush along the trail's edge and she pointed out a fine looking brown and yellow box turtle, head high as he waddled along. He had a lot of yellow on his shell, and the brightest red eyes. We might still be watching him but for the flock of turkeys who decided to cross the trail about 50 feet ahead of us, which distracted Kessy from here turtle watch, and off we went to investigate the turkeys, who of course disappeared as quickly as they had jumped into the scene.
But we still weren't done! As we rounded the bend, a covey of quail exploded from the thicket. Kessy did her best to impersonate the quails' upward leap … which was fun ... Sort of.
One last treat awaited us. A magnificent Red Admiral butterfly landed on a tree trunk, in a bright sun spot, just to my right and at my eye level only inches from us. He sat with wings unfurled taking in the sun. I sat a few seconds and admired him.
I hope you enjoyed our little jaunt through up the trail. It is on rides like this I wish all my friends could go with us. So much beauty to see.
Have a wonderful day & God Bless! ~ Dutch