Friday, March 03, 2006

Ochlockonee River State Park

Another great two nights at Ochlockonee River State Park. It was very crowded; mostly RVs but a few other tenters.

Back in November and December you couldn’t walk anywhere in this park without bumping into deer, including just going in and out of the campground. This time they were much more scarce. I went out for a walk on my first day there a little before I had dinner and was lucky enough to see this one.

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She continued into the woods a way and peered at me from around a tree.

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This is my favorite park for hiking. The trail that starts in the picnic area was flooded out a little way in, so I had to backtrack from that one and start elsewhere—the rest of the trails I walked were only a bit soggy in places. I never encountered another person on any of the trails, and I spent hours hiking them in the time I was there. The woods are filled with these bushes with yellow flowers on them, making for some wonderful scenery.

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While I was out hiking the first day, I came to the Reflection Pond, and so I sat on the bench to enjoy the view and have some water (that I had carried in, not from the pond...). A little bird came chirping into the tree next to me. It kept hopping to branches closer and closer to where I was sitting, chirping the whole time, and so I finally picked up the camera and took a picture of it.

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This is the most crowded any campground has been so far, and the first time I have had noisy neighbors at night. I guess that happens as the weather turns camping-friendly, and they did eventually settle down.

On my second morning there I lingered awhile over coffee and a book in my chaise chair, a short distance from the picnic table, at which I had had eggs for breakfast. I always keep the camera nearby since you never know when a photo opportunity will present itself. I became aware of several birds in the area of the picnic table, and while I watched, one jumped into my plate, looking, evidently, for leftover scrambled eggs.

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Shortly after that, one of the nearly-tame squirrels in the campground decided to investigate the kayak.

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This is a great campground and one I highly recommend you visit if you are in the area. And speaking of recommendations, if you like deer, I’d like to suggest you pick up a copy of the book I was reading (and finished) while on this trip. It’s called The Gift of the Deer, by Helen Hoover. It’s one of a series of books written when she and her husband left their jobs in Chicago and decided to live in semi-isolation in the North Woods of Minnesota. This book is all about the deer that they came to know (as much as you can know deer) over a period of about four years. She doesn’t write about the deer in a sappy, gooey way, but rather writes from the standpoint of appreciating them for the wild creatures they are. Other animals make appearances in the book as well. It’s a really good read if you like that sort of thing—I enjoyed it immensely. It’s the second I have read of the four she wrote in this series. I’ll read the other two soon.

As usual, I took the kayak on this trip. Hop over to Kayak Paddle Tales for the paddling report and photos from the water.

Stand by for the next camping report!


pineyflatwoodsgirl said...

Great eagle picture, Peggy. I was so jealous that you went out two days in the middle of the week. I'm going on a small private lake near Gainesville this weekend and who knows where else I will wander to...pineyflatwoodsgirl

Steve said...

Those are good pictures of the Yellow-rumped Warbler and Carolina Wren, too. It's nice when they pop up and pose for you.