The walk Tuesday was along this "interpretive" stretch of the Red Haw loop that wraps itself around the inlet at the base of the campground bluff. This sign is at the far east end of the campground but be warned, the descent to the first marker is steep. I wanted to walk here when snow was on the ground, started skidding sideways down the hill --- then didn't.
Once at trail level, the grade is mild --- grassy on the west side of the lake but because of our recent mild days, a little muddy after turning to follow the south shoreline because it's more deeply shaded there.
There's nothing dramatic along the trail --- it's just amusing to play treasure hunt with the markers and test your knowledge.
This is my favorite interpretive station. Do they replant the poison ivy if it winter-kills?
A little farther along --- one of our more intimidating trees, honey locust, with its fearsome spikes.
Running water was making music at a point where concrete has been poured to allow trail users to cross a tiny stream with out getting wet feet.
The big sycamores are among my favorite trees in the park and there's a good example just beyond.
Because the trail is sheltered and there's been snow on the ground, small patches of green grass show through the fallen leaves --- but most of the green is provided by moss.
Keep walking and you'll come out here, where park staff began the task of re-establishing native grasses a few years ago.
A woodpecker appeared here and there along the trail as I walked along and I was accompanied by an accomplished musician up in the canopy that never showed him- or herself.
At this point I stood very still, pretending to be a tree trunk, and soon the finches and a blue jay appeared.
This short stretch of trail is a great place from which to view the red buds that line the inlet during late spring.
And walking here one fall evening several years ago, during migration, the air around me was filled with wings. As as it turned out I'd walked into the the largest and most varied assembly of songbirds of many species I'd ever seen, or have since. It was like walking through an aviary. I have no idea why and don't expect it to happen again --- but it was magical at the time.