Took the daughter out to the forest yesterday. It was a beautiful day, and it’s only a few miles away.

Cameras in hand – we set out on a mini mother/daughter expedition!!!

The park is called Slate Lick and it is in the George Washington National Forest. I got to really see it last year, when a neighbor took the husband and I for a trail ride thru the woods.

It is absolutely beautiful in there – but you really need to be familiar with the trails- or you could get seriously lost! Our ‘short’ trail ride last year, ended up being 4 hours!! My tail bone has never recovered!!!! I’ve been told, 4 hours IS a short ride- particularly with that guide!!! He is truly a mountain man, born and raised here in the Gap, and knows every tree, turn and rock in that woods. You can see so much more on horseback than on foot.

When the daughter and I went, we were on foot, so I couldn’t really show her all that I had seen. I could never have found the trails, I just wanted to inspire her to want to come back with the horses, which would, in turn, inspire her to help save for a stock trailer – so we could get the horses back up there!!!

We arrived at the end of the Labor Day weekend, so all the bear hunters who took their hounds up for the weekend to get them ready for hunting season, were gone. In the whole huge expanse of forest, there were  about 5 campers left- including some trail riders who were just ending their ride.

We drove up and down the only 2 dirt roads thru the woods, stopping to take pictures every couple of yards!! At the end of one of the roads, we did get out to walk awhile- I was hoping the lake was closer than it actually was. We never found it!! As we were walking and taking pictures, the chant started rolling around in my head -“Lions and tigers and bears, oh, my! Lions and tigers and bears, oh, My…….!!”

I did SO want to see a bear – but not really while I was on foot in the middle of the woods!!! There probably are mountain lions alot deeper in the woods than we were, and bobcats too! But all we saw was the retreating tail of a deer, and red fire ants and mosquitos!

The thistle has gone to seed, along with the milkweed, the peach trees were heavy with tiny peaches. I was glad to see that the wild peaches in the woods, were no bigger than my own elderly peach tree’s fruit! There were fields of Queen Anne’s lace, with my other favorite Black Eyed Susans. Bushes loaded with crimson colored berries lined the road, and ferns created a verdant carpet under the shade of the giant maples, walnut, and oak trees.

You can really be alone and commune with nature out here, despite the occasional camper. I don’t think I would come up here during any part of hunting season tho!!

We probably took about 60 photos each, and enjoyed our ‘field’ trip, sans dogs, for once!!!

 

What a view – our horseback ride last year took us to the top of that middle mountain!

 

The ferns………….

 

 

Doesn’t this look like the tree that threw apples at Dorothy and crew in the Wizard of Oz?????

 

 

Riparian wonderland……………….

 

My favorites!!!!

 

My favorite shot of the day – don’t know why – I just like it!!!

 

And, last, but not least (aren’tcha glad I didn’t post all 60 shots…!!!!) one of the many ant hills – we stood a safe distance in our sandals!! These ant mounds are huge!!!!

 

As it is now 2am, and way, way, way, way, way, WAY past my bedtime, I bid you a good night………

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All is well at Mountain Meadows tonite.

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