As I was walking down to trail I realized I should focus primarily on the small details. Usually when I walk I tend to look at the ground. Last time I went to Skiddaway I think I tried to look more above me. This time I wanted to look at the trees.
I keep getting more and more fascinated with the textures of trees. Especially TREE WRINKLES. :O
Yeah... tree wrinkles.
I mean... how can I NOT be obsessed with tree wrinkles? If I were a tree part, I would be a tree wrinkle.
I also really liked the layering effect of the pine tree bark.
It's cool how there are slight decreases in height that make up these organic shaped islands. There are islands on top of islands on top of islands surrounded by deep crusty trenches. And some of the islands peel off like stickers! (except there's no glue on the back)
Towards the bottom of some of the pine trees the bark rose up really high which made really deep grooves. The bark that rose up was made of a BUNCH of layers of thin bark. Prettttty sweet.
While I was observing tree barks I happened upon, only the MOST AWESOME THING EVER. He was a LICHEN IMPOSTOR!
Sorry my camera operation sucks. I was way too excited.
So I googled him. He's a Green Lacewing larvae!! They are "alligator" shaped flat little things with tiny legs. They wear lichen hats for camouflage! People buy these little guys for pest control. Larvae can devour up to 200 pests/eggs a WEEK! "Lacewing larvae voraciously attack their prey by seizing them with large, sucking jaws and inject a paralyzing venom. The hollow jaws then draw out the body fluids of the pest."
I also found some crazy (non walking) neon colored lichen:
And there were these fat lichen:
They reminded me of "*drum solo* THANK YOU DARK CONTINENT!"
Early on in my venture I found this bulbous stick-wand. It became my companion. He helped me fight off copperheads and spiders. Though... I actually encountered neither.
But, unfortunately it could not protect me from what I DID encounter. Scariest moment of my life maybe. Okay maybe not. but...it was definitely. scary.
I found this place off the trail ( i guess that spells danger "off the trail" right?) that was perfect to sit and write/figure out things.
Listen to how perfect it was:
But then...just as I was really starting to figure things out maybe...I heard footsteps! I look over to my left to meet eyes with
A R A C C O O N!
When our gazes locked he immediately turned around and ran up a tree about 3 yards away from me. Now....I'm not quite sure why, if you see something dangerous, you would run up a tree in visual range of the thing you are scared of. Because he just blocked himself in. So I casually took out my camera to get some pictures and ....
I hear more footsteps!! Another one!!!! I slowly turned my camera to him and put it on record. Except this one didn't notice me until WAY later. He was like THREE FEET AWAY FROM ME. And instead of running away immediately. HE STAYED THERE STARING AT ME!
I'm pretty sure I was even more scared of him than he was of me. I froze. I stood completely still staring at him. Then I turned away. I didn't want to watch my attacker infect me with rabies. Or more likely I didn't want to intimidate him. He won. Let him run away in victory. Or just run away. I kept the camera facing him. It was the longest minute of my life. Finally he ran away...and up THE SAME TREE AS THE OTHER ONE.
Now, why didn't the first one warn the second one of what he was getting into??!? Because I KNOW they communicate. I saw them whispering to each other. All of my concentration was lost now. All I could think about were those two guys conspiring against me in the tree as they stared me down. I tried to ignore them. But then I convinced myself that they were mustering up the courage to attack me..or worse...call in for back-up.
Right as that though of back up sparked in my thoughts, I thought I heard some rattling. That was the last straw. I packed up my stuff. And may or may not have ran a little.... But before I got to the trail I stopped to see what they did. Apparently they weren't the best of friends because not only did the first one not warn the second one, but one of them abandoned the other in the tree! He was gone! Only one was left...just a little higher up in the tree.
They stressed me out pretty bad. I jumped at every leaf rustle. After that I went to this pick-nick table to finish my contemplation.
Unfortunately I don't have any evidence of my next surprise, but as I was on my way to the table this HUMONGOUS shadow passed over me and the ground. I looked up to see this equally as large bird soaring over me. it was SO BIG. I don't know what he was :( But he was magical.
W h a t a d a y.