Feb 5-back to the Mint

Another day, another tofu delivery.  And after I dropped off my last one-pounder, another trip to Mint Springs Valley Park.  With about 45 minutes before I had to start heading home, I picked a spot on the map labeled “Old Red Oak,” which involved a loop trail hike of just over a mile, and set out.  Some thoughts, in no particular order:

1) Despite being a perfectly lovely day– temperatures in the upper 40’s, partly sunny, gentle breeze– there was still no sign of spring in the vegetation, no tender new shoots or opening of buds or flowers.

2) Hiking on trails is less mentally taxing then bushwhacking, and you certainly cover a lot more ground.

3) After a lot of hiking in the undramatic hills of the piedmont, it is an interesting change of pace to walk around in the mountains, where the slopes are much more slope-y and the rocks are much more rock-y.

4) A Tuesday afternoon in the winter is a good time to hike if you don’t want to see any other people.  It was just me and the squirrels out there.

5) The “Old Red Oak” (see photos below) was a worthwhile destination.  It was old, red, and oaky.

6)  And did I mention, it was a perfectly lovely day for a walk.

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Here’s the “old Red Oak”Image

And here’s me, at its base.Image

Just before I got back to the car, I saw this flush of oyster mushrooms, the first I’ve seen in a while.  These were too far advanced to be good eatin’, but it’s nice to know they’re out there.Image

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