Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Lone Star Trail

Michael and I decided to "hike" some of the Lone Star trail today, about two hours on the 100 mile trail.  It passes nearby, and we also walked on a right of way for a natural gas line.  

I put hike in quotes, because we stop every few minutes to look at nature around us, mushrooms, flowers, ant trails, butterflies, dragonflies, and more, plus listening to birdsong and tracking the birds down.  So it is more like a stroll than a hike!!  A naturalists' hike!

Black and white warbler, yellow warbler, pine warbler, scarlet tanager, downy woodpecker, American goldfinch, Carolina chickadee, and chipping sparrow are some of the birds we had today.  It tells us that spring migration is slowly starting!  A Northern harrier flew overhead once we returned to our campsite.

Butterflies seen include common buckeye, mourning cloak, dusky wings sp., angle wings sp., and a "blue" hairstreak-like butterfly.  Our jaws dropped when a moth, the palest shade of teal, came around us; we think it was a moth!  It was a beauty!

The most amazing thing we saw was an ant "highway", about 150 yards long! Leaf-cutter ants were coming from a mound, most carrying bits of leaves, and heading to a hole in the ground where apparently they store the leaf pieces.  Call us crazy, but we were really entertained by this!

Ant highway.

Ant hole and bits of leaves carried there by ants.

Typical ant mounds that we have been seeing.

Tiny balls of excavated dirt at an ant hole.

Lone Star trail.

Happy times!

Well camouflaged lizard.

Gas pipeline right of way.

Still enjoying our campsite!

Later, Michael decided to bake a coffee cake in the Dutch oven:

The final product:

And a bee has set up territory by the teardrop and all he/she does is fly back and forth, chasing all kinds of insects away!  Our guard bee!

Big yellow and black bee above the charcoals, right side of screen!

With bellies full of coffee cake, it's time to enjoy the sunset and starry sky!