This past weekend we visited parts of the Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. What was to be a leisurely walk along the Bolen Bluff Trail, turned out to be a muddy, mosquito infested expedition.
The signs were there right after the first few steps. Puddles came into view, yet we pressed on.
The mud appeared to be drying and the floor seemed solid enough to continue our walk. The sky was blue and the sun was shining.
This trail offers a 2.6 mile round trip hike or bike ride through a mixed habitat, forest and prairie.
We walked under a shady canopy of large oaks and southern life oaks. Also along the trail sweet gum, hickory, palm, southern magnolia and holly prosper can be found (not many of which I could identify).
I truly enjoyed the bright colors and texture offered by the canopy of trees. I was amazed at how lush and green everything has become thanks to the recent rains.
There’s not much to this next shot – just the impressive strength of a single thread of a spider’s web holding a very long twig in mid-air.
Tree trunks were covered by various mushrooms, Spanish moss, resurrection moss and various other plants.
This area offers a safe habitat for white-tailed deer, wild turkey, bobcat, gray fox, barred owl and raccoon. Before we could see any of these, we came to the end of our walk. Though we had not reached the end of the trail, we found ourselves unable to continue. The mud and puddles were too deep. We looked for a way around, but unfortunately didn’t find one which would allow our legs to remain dry below our knees. Besides, the mosquitoes were killing us! And so, half disappointed and half glad at the excuse, we turned back.