How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?
Yesterday M and I went to Trap Pond State Park in Delaware to do some leaf peeping. Alas, we were rather late for this venture and most of the leaves are now on the ground, brown or turning brown. We were too late for the bald cypress trees, too. The majority had already shed their needles. Even so, it was a beautiful hike, and we did see some color here and there. The beech and oak trees hold on to their leaves through the winter and provide golds, reds, and browns in between the greens of the holly trees and loblolly pines. There were some sheltered sweet gums, cherries, and maples with a few leaves, too.
For those of you outside of the U.S. or just not familiar with the Eastern Shore, it is a peninsula. Three states — Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia — have each claimed a piece of it which is why it also known as the Delmarva Peninsula or plain old Delmarva. For those interested in history, the residents of the Eastern Shore have tried a few times to secede from their respective states and become a state of their own, but haven’t been successful so far.
It doesn’t take us long to get to Virginia or to Delaware, although Delaware is a bit farther away. It takes about 45 minutes for us to get to Trap Pond State Park, and parts of the drive are quite scenic. I’d like to ride my bike around the area someday.
We set out for our hike around 11 AM with our daypacks on our backs and dressed in layers. The morning had started out chilly, but warmed up quickly. I carried my daypack because it’s the best way to carry camera accessories (including the almost-always-needed-when-I-don’t-have-it extra battery). It is also a good place to store my jacket and hat when I don’t need them (and later on in the hike, I didn’t).
M carried snacks (apples and crackers) and water in his daypack. He’s the sensible one. He also has a compass, a flint, hand warmers, a light, and other be-prepared items in his daypack. I do have my cell phone, protein bars, and toilet paper in mine so I suppose that counts as being prepared. If it had been a hot day, I would have brought the bladder (no, not the kind that requires the toilet paper). My daypack is a CamelBak with a bladder for water, and it is the Best Daypack Ever. It sits perfectly on my shoulders and lower back, never causing pain or discomfort. I boasted about my daypack so much that M eventually bought a CamelBak daypack, too.
Trap Pond State Park has five hiking trails and three water trails. We set out with the intention to hike anywhere from 2-4 miles, depending on how we felt as we went along. The day was perfect for hiking. Sunny with an autumn-blue sky, cool but not cold, and with just the right amount of breeze to keep the air fresh. M and I were not the only folks out there enjoying the lovely weather. We saw a few other people kayaking, bicycling, jogging, horseback riding, or walking their dogs. The jogger we saw put us to shame (or, as M put it, inspired us). He made it around the loop twice before we finished once. Our loop, by the way, turned out to be 6.5 miles, and wasn’t entirely a loop because we took a few detours here and there.
M would say, “Let’s go see this dock,” and we would veer off the trail we were following to take another trail to the dock and the pond. We’d get back on the main trail we were originally following, walk a while, and then M would look at his map and ask, “Wanna go see this old church and cemetery?” Of course I always agreed. Who can resist water or old churches or cemeteries? Not me, that’s for sure.
We started out on the American Holly Trail where, as you might expect, we saw a lot of American Holly trees. When M and I lived in Ohio (southern, then northern) we planted American Hollies. We don’t need to plant them here. There are a lot of American Holly trees on the Eastern Shore, and in the woods at the Wabi-Sabi Ranch.
We somehow made our way to the Loblolly Trail and then to the Boundary Trail where we eventually meandered off to the Cypress Point Trail.
The park has a wonderful mix of hardwoods, loblolly pines, hollies, and bald cypress trees. The Boundary Trail takes you through a variety of landscapes including woods, riparian areas, and to the Bethesda Methodist Episcopal Church. I can’t find much on the history of the church other than it is a restored Greek Revival style church, and the oldest tombstone dates to the early 1800’s.
We wove back and forth between the Loblolly and Boundary Trails, making a loop around the 9 acre Trap Pond. In addition to the woods, the pond, the church, and the cemetery, we passed a disc golf course. M and I plan to go back soon and play. We have the discs, and used to play disc golf. This course looks easier than some we’ve played (one on a mountain in West Virginia comes immediately to mind when I think “difficult”), but harder than others (in city metro areas where there are no hills or trees as obstacles on the course). I can’t remember the last time we played other than it seems like it was a long time ago.
I took a lot of photos and I’m still sorting through them. I’ll be back with more from our hike soon.
Thank you for stopping by today, and joining me on part of the hike. Hang around for sunset if you like. I’m going out to the dock to watch it this evening. Sunset is at 4:50 PM. I’ll probably go out around 4:30 or a little earlier. It’s been in the lower 60’s today so a jacket or a sweatshirt will probably keep you warm enough.
Be good, be kind, be loving, be well. Just Be. 🙂
Today’s joys: The fresh, crisp scent of the autumn air; a quiet and meditative walk this morning; the slant of the sunlight in the afternoon; clean sheets hung out to dry and put on the bed for tonight; the kingfisher chattering as he flies around the lagoon.