First day in the woods. I haven’t gone in yet, I’ve been sitting at the trailhead for about twenty minutes now, enjoying the space to myself and the constant buzz of insects. There’s a large manhole in the grass, which allows me to sit down without getting my jeans wet from the dew. There’s an ant on the cuff of my jeans, there are but few white clouds in the sky, the sun is shining through the canopy that sits at the edge of the woods. I’m alone human-wise, trying to enjoy that while I can. I’m excited to see/hear/smell what we’ll come across today.
While on our hike, I caught sight of two hummingbirds on separate occasions in different places, however both were somewhat on the edges of the woods. I wasn’t sure what kind of hummingbirds they were, but one was perched on a branch while the other hovered around some trees. Toward the beginning of the trail, I spotted a collection of mature pawpaw trees which brought a satisfied smile to my face. In the past, my friend of more than a decade and I have sought out pawpaw trees at our local parks. It was warming to see some in the campus woods, especially of such size. While hiking I was able to identify a Northern Flicker (they sound super cool) and Blue Jays flying above in the trees. Once I started hearing birds I couldn’t identify, I whipped out my phone and used the Merlin Bird ID app, which is a bird identifying app I’ve used in the past. The list of birds I identified is shown in the gallery and include a Downy and Red-Bellied Woodpecker.
After we circled around and as we were about to enter the old growth section of the woods, I spotted a Blue Heron, one of my favorite birds, winging across the sky. It’s one of the first birds ever identified for me by my father (during the first few years of my life, there was a pond behind our home). It was a comforting sight. After we entered the old growth trail, I noticed another fine sight: piles of honeysuckle along the trail about where the disc golf course starts. I also spotted some wild ginger in the old growth section and noticed there was a lot more bird activity in this section of the woods.