Monday, June 12, 2017

Raindrops and Dragonflies

North Florida went from being dry as a bone to alternating between drizzle and thunderstorms for a week. I am getting a touch of cabin fever because I haven't been able to exercise and since I have a few days off it is getting worse. I had planned to go hiking at the coast and maybe catch a few rays on the beach but I don't like the chance of being caught in a thunderstorm when I am the tallest thing around.   
When I woke up this morning there was a lull in the rain so I hopped in my car and drove to the Lake Jackson Mounds State Archaeological State Park. I admit Hubby and I don't take advantage of the State Parks in the area, I don't think I had been hiking at the mounds since I was in grade school. The park has an honor pay station, it is only $3 for a day hang tag (remember to bring bills or a check, the envelopes don't seal and it is kind of hard to stuff coins in them and get them in the slot, don't ask me how I know).
The weather was warm and muggy, it felt like I was walking through soup, I was soaked within minutes of getting out of the car from the humidity alone. I wore my rain boots because I knew I would be walking through wet tall grass and mud, I am glad I did once I hit the trails but the stairs to the tops of the mounds were quite slippery and athletic shoes would have given better grip on the wet wood.
Morning rain drops on a spiderwort
The rainy weather had brought out mushrooms in full force, unfortunately many of my shots didn't come out in focus because I was trying not to get covered in mud or fall over while squatting with a large camera.

An exoskeleton of a cicada  along the walkway

Looking down the steps gives you a better idea of how high the mounds are.
There were so many dragonflies out in the fields by the mounds, this Eastern Pondhawk stopped briefly to let me photograph her.
The raindrops did lend to some pretty photos

Another Eastern Pondhawk, this one is a male

How stunning is this Halloween Pennant?
 Once along the trails the bugs did get a little annoying and of course I forgot my bug spray. I had a "pet" horsefly that followed me most of my hike, luckily it never was able to bite me.
Okay, I know this is out of focus but aren't these the cutest little mushrooms? I'm quite mad at myself for not trying several more shots of them but the ground was wet and I had a hard time staying still while getting down so low.
 There are ruins of a grist mill along the stream, the area has quite a bit of erosion and some fallen trees so it has been cordoned off but you and see some remnants of beams in the stream bed.
 Along a bridge a found a large millipede, he must have been 4 inches long.
I stopped counting how many spiderwebs I walked through, I spent a lot of time pulling silk off my face and arms, luckily, it doesn't bother me.
In a beautiful thicket of ferns I was surrounded by Ebony Jewelwing Damselflies, this one sat so still while I photographed it, the others flitted around shyly avoiding me.

I thought about hiking the other trail but I'm glad I headed home when I did since it started raining not long after I finished the first trail. While it wasn't perfect hiking weather I enjoyed morning in nature, the mounds are a beautiful area and I wish I could have captured more woodland shots but sadly my photography skills aren't able to give justice to the beauty of the area.

Some Bunny Loves Ya!