I’ve been sorta down about nature and her ways, so I haven’t been writing much (I’ll talk about it eventually). But today’s Master Naturalist field trip to Mother Neff State Park gave me so many hours of fun that I must share!
We carpooled, and I was impressed to fit five people in my new car successfully. It’s hard to feel down with my Master Naturalist lady friends. I just love all the stories about Cameron, Rockdale, and people I never heard of before but wish I could have known. We ended up with a good sized group for a walk on the trails with a nice young intern.
I have to admit that I was not a very good participant in the guided walk. My partner in crime, Linda Jo, and I could not keep ourselves from stopping every few steps to look at plants or insects. That was way more interesting to us than the history of the Civilian Conservation Corps, or whatever. When you are with the iNaturalist Queen, you make observations, so I did!
Linda Jo and I had an absolute BLAST looking at all the plants we found. Between the two of us, we found interesting new-to-us plants and some rare things. It’s so much better doing this stuff with others, as I learned on that warbler walk a couple of weeks ago. Linda Jo said I made a great spotter.
We did enjoy some of the interesting spots along the trail, of course. There was a lovely pond, a big cave, and a tower built by the CCC. A lot of climbing up and down was involved, so we got tired, but it was “a good kind of tired.” I’m glad to have gone, since we missed all this part of the park when Lee and I were there before.
I did want to see the trail we walked last time, around Christmas, but everyone was tired. So, Linda Jo and I just walked a little bit of it. We didn’t need to go far to find all sorts of interesting plants. We were like little kids at Christmas, just about giddy with all our findings. I found a most gorgeous milkweed that neither of us had ever seen before, star milkweed. Then we found some phlox I’d never seen before, golden-eyed phlox. and there was yet another kind of paintbrush!
And there was more. The other folks said they could hear us calling out to each other when we found something. I can’t imagine having a better time doing something I love!
After I reluctantly let the others leave, we had even more fun at lunch, when we went to a very good restaurant on Lake Belton (Dead Fish Grill?). It was quite big, and we were able to eat outside but under cover. All the food looked good, as was my rainbow trout.
There were a few little incidents, but for the most part, everyone had a blast and learned a great deal. My only complaint is I got home too late to ride horses. That’s really not the end of the world, because tomorrow will be another beautiful day, just like today was.
I’m so glad to have a community of like-minded folks to hang out with on occasion!