Sunday, March 30, 2014

Is It Finally a Spring Hike?

The temperatures almost got into the 60s today so Mommy and I had to do a long hike. We decided to hit the river trail because it is very long and so you can hike for as long as you have time.

How do you know it is spring and not fall? The deep ruts from the bikes give it away.

 I hiked the first mile while Mommy pushed the stroller then I got in to ride.

Mommy had a laugh when she spotted a group of 10 year old boys running around without shirts on while their parents sat and talked. She said only in the upper midwest would parents say, "It is in the mid fifties today. Sure, go ahead and run around half naked outside. It is a great day for it."

Usually at this part of the river we see turtles sunning on the logs. 
Today we saw carp sunning on the logs.

Just kidding. Mommy knew this winter was going to be really rough on the fish in the lakes and ponds because the ice was so think and opaque and covered with over three feet of snow.  When that happens the lakes and ponds become deprived of oxygen and a lot of the fish die.  We didn't think the same thing would happen with the river since the water moves under the ice, but it must have barely moved in some of the shallower sections and a lot of carp lost their lives.

After the dead fish we came to the great blue heron rookery. 

We've never seen so many of the nests occupied before. We are betting they were attracted to the dead fish. Should be a good year for herons.

 Here is a closeup of the herons

After the herons I was ready get out and hike again. We were going to stop for a snack at my favorite benches by the river, but when we got to the benches two people who were together were each taking up a bench for some reason. They talked to Mommy and pet me, but neither of them offered to get off their bench so we could sit. So we continued on to the bench by the river's flood plain.  Mommy considers this bench to be Boo's bench because he liked to stop there when they would hike and so Mommy requested a bench be installed and the county DID install it!

The river had gone over the trail a little bit, but not enough to stop us

The flood plain

 Me relaxing after I ate my snack

After our snack I got back in the stroller and we turned around to head back to the car.  I forgot what trailhead we had parked at so when we were a quarter mile from the more northern lot we sometimes park at I insisted on getting out and hiking again. Mommy told me I was going to be mad when I realized we were at the wrong lot, but I kept barking to get out so she let me walk. When we got to the trailhead I tried to turn down it to get to the lot and Mommy said no, we weren't at that one. I walked a couple hundred yards farther and then insisted on getting back in the stroller.

A mile from the RIGHT trailhead I insisted on getting out of the stroller again. Mommy let me out and I hiked the rest of the way.  I did demand a rest at the bench a half mile from the trailhead. Mommy offered to let me ride in the stroller again, but I didn't want to do that, so, since we had time Mommy said we could sit there for a half hour.  About 10 minutes into our rest a herd of about 10 big bunnies came up behind us. They didn't know what to make of the stroller any more than the big bunnies did last week, but this group, instead of running away stood behind us and stared at us. Sometimes one or two would get brave and approach us, but then they would back off.  I was lying in the shadows under the bench so I don't think they could see me, but they certainly could smell me.

What is that big red thing?

 Why does it smell like dog?

Big bunny!

After about 10 minutes of being stared at by big bunnies I couldn't take it any more so I stood up and barked and they all darted back a bit. Then Mommy and I continued on our hike to the end.

Miles hiked by me: 3.5. Miles riding in stroller: 4.5. Total miles hiked: 8.

1 comment:

KB Bear said...

Merlin - You and your mom sure did have a great hike. That stroller is the best thing ever - it lets you have so many adventures with your mom.

I loved the herons, and the great big bunnies :)