13 April 2009

Hiking along Stevens Creek

We are almost within the final two month period before our June adventure to Alaska (Alaska: Enlightenment under the Midnight Sun). Road Scholar (a division of Elderhostel) has sent out a detailed description of the excursion, advocating some conditioning prior to meeting the group in Fairbanks on June 20th. Ever obedient, our walks are beginning a shift from the flat of the roads in our neighborhood and the gentle hills of the nearby golf course. Yesterday afternoon we headed out to explore a portion of the 12 miles along Stevens Creek in McCormick County.

The day was utterly georgeous and I felt better than I had in a couple of weeks. Given those two plusses (which can quickly become minuses), we agreed to try to refrain from being overly ambitious. Since neither of us had thought to wear a watch and since I'd left the cell phone (which includes a clock) on the kitchen counter, we couldn't walk for a pre-determined length of time and turn around. We were grateful, once on the trail -- beginning at the bridge on SR23 near Modoc -- to see that the distance is posted every half-mile. This is Tal as we turned around at the 2-mile marker. (He indulged my effort to get the marker in the foreground by walking into the distance.)

It's along Stevens Creek that the famous and endangered Rocky Shoals Spider Lily will begin blooming next month. Although we weren't treated to that sight or scent today, we were blessed with another lily ... I think the Atamasco ... growing along tributaries to the main creek and in low glades. I managed to muddy both knees, but getting these shots (and several more ...) nourished my soul this Easter day.

This flower isn't new to me. As a child I was privately convinced that it should have been the real Easter lily. I remember (perhaps wrongly) that they bloomed at Eastertime on either side of a brick waterfall near the Youth Taming the Wild pool at Brookgreen Gardens. An enchanting spot in my memory to be sure and one, to my surprise (and I have looked), that I did not photograph during those early years.

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