That's Doodlese for "exploring". Still stuck in the Utah routine of being unable to conduct business around town on Sundays, we've taken to making Sunday our splorin' day.
First we headed northeast to Black Moshannon State Park. Took some windy dirt back roads (yay!) to get there, marveling at the green everywhere. People keep telling us it's been dry this summer, and counties around us are on a drought watch, but it seems really wet and green to this western girl. Heck, we've had at least six rainstorms since we've been here. Big thunder-n-lightning rainstorms. Very wet. But I digress. My point is it's really really green here.
We had a picnic then walked the bog trail at Black Moshannon. Found an orchid (Epipactis helleborine - a non-native), a mycotrophic plant (Monotropa uniflora - Indian Pipe), a carnivorous plant (Drosera rotundifolia - a sundew) and a couple of cute lycophytes. Great outing.
This past Sunday we went south to Bear Meadows Natural Area, another beautiful boggy spot. J heard that the blueberries were ripe down there, so we decided to check it out. Sure enough, blueberries galore. We picked for a while, but Doodle got bored so we kept hiking along the loop trail. We saw a ton of Rhododendrons and Vaccinium (blueberries), plus some ferns and a whole bunch of deciduous trees that I don't know. Boy do I need to learn my Eastern trees. Made it about a mile before Doodle decided she was done hiking and we turned around.
After Bear Meadows J wanted to check out a bouldering location further south. By the time we got there both kids were sound asleep. He hiked off to find the boulders while I sat in silence (ahhh) and read. I finally woke the kids up when I realized we were all slowly roasting in the car and should get out to enjoy the shade of the forest.
We got out and had just started our hike up the hill to find J when we heard him hoot, letting us know he was on his way back down. We met up and decided to let the kids play in a nearby stream. While Doodle was eyeing the water striders Roo was trying to launch himself headlong into the stream. J set him down in the shallow stream and Roo was thrilled, splashing and crawling to his heart's content. I caught a crawdad the size of a half-dollar and showed Doodle. She held it, let it go, then begged me to find another. J and I caught a bunch, one after another, to be examined and liberated by our little crawdad aficionado. Once Roo got cold and Doodle became less enthralled with the crustaceans we went back to the car.
On the way I spotted a log sporting a sizable clump of oyster mushrooms. Yum! Mushrooms were collected and put in the cooler for the drive back home. Successful outing in the form of blueberries, both in bellies and in the cooler, mosquito bites, tired forearms, photos of crawdads deemed "cute!", and mushrooms for the cooking.
I'm really liking Sunday splorin'.