Buescher State Park 9-29-2019

The Lake at Buescher Park

With the weather finally cooling down albeit, not by a lot as it is still in the mid 90’s in the afternoons, I decided to get up early and drive the hour that it takes to get to Buescher State Park located in Smithville which is 55 miles from my house. I grabbed breakfast to go at the first Starbucks that I came to and listened to Audiobooks for the hour spent in the truck, on the road.

I planned to walk the rest of the trails that BJ and I hadn’t covered a couple of days previously and pulled up into the trail parking area on Park Road 1C which was my starting point. I crossed the road to get onto the Pine Gulch Trail and was immediately inundated with a large number of wildflowers of several different varieties. Absolutely beautiful and so unexpected as we had not seen any on the other side of the road or on the other trail.

A young lady passed me going in the opposite direction only she was running and I could tell it was a part of her workout routine. Hers must have been the other car in the Parking Area when I left. She was the only person that I saw on the trails. This side of the road was just as burned as was the other side although, Nature is pushing hard and there is a lot of new growth. Shade was hard to come by except here and there, where the Oak trees were growing. It looks like they had not been affected by the fire as everything around them had been burned. The Pine trees that had been replanted were growing well and in 10 years time, should become just as tall as the ones that are now just tree skeletons and strong reminders of the past. Hope I am around to see that and still walking.

There is a small pond on this trail but it too is low as it lacks water because of the drought. I remember it from a few years ago before the fire when I walked this trail. At that time I took a picture of the trees reflecting in the water. This time, not only is the water low but the trees are no longer there having burned in the fire.

Following the trail, I had to cross the Old Antioch Road for the last mile or so and then eventually meeting up with Park Road 1C where the trail ended. At one point, I came across a brand new bridge that crosses one of the many streams in the area and the construction person in me could only think of the logistics in getting the material to build this bridge to this particular area, as the trail is not very wide for any sort of vehicle. This last part of the trail is not used much and is heavily overgrown although somebody had been working recently with a weed wacker to trim a lot of the growth. I had the option of turning back and covering my tracks or stay on Park Road 1C back to where the truck was parked. Either way, the distance was the same so I opted to stay on the road for the easier walking. Several vehicles and motorcycles passed me and we exchanged waves as they sped on by.

A video of the trails and the beautiful flowers.

I arrived back in the parking area and sat for a while just relaxing and cooling down. It was a beautiful day and I felt so happy just to be out in it. Altogether, I covered 5 miles of walking. On the way back, I stopped at the lake although it is showing signs of feeling the drought that we have been having this summer as the water level was down a bit. I took pictures of the Oak trees with the Spanish Moss hanging from them, not something you see every day.

Spanish Moss

The drive home was uneventful as I happily drank my Starbucks Latte and listened to Audiobooks to be welcomed at the door by four small and very excited dogs. At least somebody loves and misses me…

Written 9/30/2019

Walking the Woods at McKinney Roughs Nature Park

Riverbend Trail at McKinney Roughs

Riverbend Trail at McKinney Roughs

I spent some time this past weekend
walking the woods at McKinney Roughs
with trails spread so far and wide
it was difficult to decide
which way to go and in the end
I chose a trail that did bend
and returned me to where I started from
Pine Ridge is the trail that brought me home.

The hike covered a couple of miles
over terrain of different kinds
some covered in brush and others too
that were of Oak trees and the Cedar kind
the trails were clear and the terrain was rough
it climbed and dipped as I followed the path
leading me to places yet unknown
as never before had I walked this way.

Even though the weather was hot
there was enough shade that most of the time
in the direct sun I was not.

I walked along looking to see
if the view would impress me
so that I had to stop and a picture take
as that was the purpose of the walk
that and the exercise I would gain
I passed two others on the way
a woman and I suppose her son
striding it out on the way back
to where they had both begun.

The trail led me back to the starting point
and at that point I had to decide
which way next should I go
or should I just call it a day
I opted another trail I should take
this one was called Riverside
and it would take me down the hill
until the river I would see
which at this point flows very slow
and had water lilies and other plants
that show off their beauty in this quiet place.

The only company that I had
was a Big Blue Heron out in the lake
standing so tall and so serene
with the patience of a Saint
as it waits for some form of food
a fish or other aquatic life
that will swim within this big birds reach
and with speed so fast the bird will strike
and come up with it in its beak
and with a toss of the head will turn the food
and swallow it whole, its sustenance of life.

I could not take any pictures of
the heron as it devoured its prey
my view of the bird was not too clear
as the tree branches were in the way
so with a sigh I got up to leave
as the Heron flew away
a successful hunt from its point of view
not so good for whatever it ate
but that is Mother Natures way
as in the food chain we all have our say.

I turned and started back up the hill
watching the bird had been a thrill
as seeing Nature in the raw
had not given me my fill
so with long and determined strides
I tackled the trail back up the hill
and figured I had a half a mile
of uphill climb before I could rest
as from that point on no longer a test
as the trail climbed at a more even keel.

Back in my car I sat for a while
and thought of the hike and what I had seen
tough climbs followed by easy ones too
and lets not forget the Big Blue
who had let me in to share the strife
for a brief moment as he had to work
for a short period of time, to sustain his life.

Pine Ridge Trail

Pine Ridge Trail

I covered more than four miles this day
walking on trails both narrow and wide
walking is supposed to be good for the soul
but its hell on the body I have to say
especial when you are growing old
this is not the first nor my last
as I have plans for other trails to take
with my camera by my side
looking for pictures of the things I view
and of all of the beautiful things around
to me Mother Nature, so profound
I enjoy the most on any day.

If I did not come from modern times
with computers and internet and other finds
I would opt to live a different day
in a totally different way
for off the land I would try to live
and grow my food and try to give
back to Nature as she gives to me
as we live together in harmony.

I know its easy to dream these dreams
when in reality I live in a house
and go to the store to buy my food
and cook on a stove or turn on the lights
no hardship do I have to face
or live outside the weather to brave
but still a part of me will always be
close to Nature who is Mother to me.

McKinney Roughs 8-21-2013 Slide Show from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.