Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hiking with Botanists

Have you ever been on a hike with not one, not two, not three ... but FOUR botanists?! Well, let me just say that if your goal is to get quickly to the end of the hike, leave your botanist at home. Jason has what we will call a "goal-oriented" personality. When I hike with him, we have to strike a balance between my "Look at this leaf, look at this flower, oooo-look at this cute little moss" and his "Must reach destination. Now."

Sunday (not this past Sunday, but the Sunday the were here, October 25th), Jessica, Molly, Kathryn, Sierra and I headed out to Shenandoah to do some hiking. Jason had things to do, so he declined the invitation to join us. Probably better; that goal oriented personality of his probably would have been very impatient with "Look at this leaf, look at this flower, oooo-look at this cute little moss" (x4)! As I mentioned in my last post, Molly, Kathryn, Jessica and I went to grad school together, and we each studied (well, they're still at it) various plant systems. Along with that, comes a general interest in the natural world.

The drive out to Shenandoah was beautiful, fall colors blazing along the road. The hike up to the top of Hawksbill Mountain was great, but slow, with a lot of stopping to look at this an that ... especially moss! Jessica is our resident moss expert, and this time of year where we were hiking, there are certainly more mosses than any of the specialties of the rest of us (algae, orchids, and invasive plants).

I think I spy some moss way over there on that rock!
Look! Sporophytes!
But moss wasn't the only thing to see. A few of the other highlights included Molly finding some "larval wiggly things" in water that had pooled in a tree, funky shelf mushrooms, beautiful red berries (we think sumac), and the view! Let's not forget the view!
Sierra did some hiking on her own (as opposed to her usual riding in a carrier)
(Okay, so she only actually "hiked" about 100 yards, but give her a break; she has short legs!)

and we all rested a bit at the top before completing the loop back to the trailhead.

Our planned post-hike picnic got moved to a picnic in the car while we drove home because well, we just took a lot longer to complete the trail than I had anticipated (FOUR botanists! Remember?), but really, nothing beats that post-hike peanut butter and jelly, no matter where it is enjoyed!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Makes my walks up Miggy woods so feeble.
    I've started following, 'cos your voice made me want to read on, your energy just streams off the monitor - thankyou.