Currently there are about 3 miles of trails up here at the camp and I try to make it a point to walk them all every day I am not at work...except Sundays. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour and it is always an interesting trip. Lately I have seen a couple of hawks along the way and the other day I walked right up on a huge owl. I had seen him before but he usually flies off before I get anywhere near. This time I was right under the tree before he took flight. A mighty pretty bird..I would love to get a picture of him. One time I got very near to a possum. It might have just been the oldest possum known to man as every single hair on him was gray. This very close encounter was due to the fact that he was almost blind. As I was standing not 20 feet from him he would stick his nose up in the air as to smell me but he evidently could not see me. It never fails that a few does are jumped here and there and sometimes they will just let me walk on by without getting up at all.
Occasionally the Secret Creek will jump it's banks and run wild all down below Beech Bottom Trail. This happened recently after raining almost every day for a week. This time of year with all the leaves off the trees you can see for much greater distances down through the woods. Well except down by the creek that is. The Beech trees like to hold on to their leaves all winter long, that coupled with the thick bamboo growth keeps this area secluded. The bamboo and ferns do add some color to an otherwise brown and gray landscape.
The weather here in Alabama is always changing and nature has a surprise for us every now and then. Anyone who has lived here long enough will experience a glimpse of false spring where things begin to bud out and bloom before they normally do only to be killed back by Jack Frost. February and March are known for just such type of occurrences. As I was finishing up my walk today something green and near the ground caught my eye so a closer look was necessary. Not only did I discover a daffodil sticking up above the leaves, but it was about to bloom ! As much as I love Spring can we slow down just a bit here. This is January not February.