Saturday, March 05, 2011

Let's Go For a Walk

"Let's go for a walk," my daughter said. "I've got the day off, and have never seen Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve. You always talk about it, so Bailey and I want to go." What a wonderful idea! And how nice to have your adult daughter suggest it! The sun is shining through the bare trees, while buds and small plants bravely poke their way out from winter's hiding.
We started down Mahan Lane and said hi to the volunteers working to prepare the six acre fern garden for more planting. Things were quiet at the Frog Pond, so we headed down towards the waterfalls and Little Huckleberry Creek. One of my favorite places is Hidden Spring, and as we climbed up to its outlet, I saw a slight movement on the ground. It's a beautiful common garter snake, about a foot long.
The March Open House Saturday is going to be about snakes. One of the naturalists from Salato Wildlife Education Center in Frankfort will come on March 19th with some of his snakes, but I thought it would be great to have a local representative. Mary Beth had a plastic bag in her pocket, so we caught this one, and put him in a tank back at the office. According to the internet, they eat earthworms, frogs, and mice, among other things. In turn, they provide an important food source for many birds and mammals. The red-shouldered hawk, in particular, relies on the collection of snakes to help feed their young during the nesting season. This little guy felt very strong as he wrapped around my fingers. And his tongue is red! When the event is over, we'll take him back where we found him for release.
With all the rain we've had in Kentucky lately, the creeks on the Preserve were full, but not cloudy at all. The Fallen Rock waterfall usually just trickles behind the stones, but this time the water actually falls over the front of the rock. Other springs burst from the limestone hillsides, merrily rolling toward the largers creeks, and ultimately, the nearby Ohio River.
Bailey, my granddog, had a great time. She's spent most of her life as an apartment dog, and isn't too interested in taking walks when she stays at our house. But all the smells intrigued her, and she stayed as far out on the leash as it goes the whole time we walked the trail. Finally, she couldn't stand it any more, and had to wade in the creek. "After all," she said, "I am a Retriever!"


Mary Beth- The Daughter said...

Thanks again for the walk mom. Bailey and I agree that we will have to do this again. Now we need a few things, a non rainy or cold weekday, and me to be off. Unfortantly the later won't be true this week.

Mary said...

What a very nice walk you must have had. Bailey is sure a handsome beauty. Young snakes are certainly coming out earlier than usual. The warmeth of the sun, the warm rains must drive them. Yes, and so right about the snakes and the R-S Hawks. They can sometimes be seen in flight with a snake hanging from their talon. Last year, the female landed a large one and yelled and yelled for her mate and single young one to come help her. They never came and she could not take this snake on her own and so after two hours of keeping it in a tree, she finally took flight and had to look for a different kind of meal~

Brian- The Son n Law said...

I like the picture of the dog and the blg but I guess I'm somewhat bios since I have had Bailey since she was a puppy and my Mother n law is the blg writer. Btw now she needs a bath. Next time just need to bring shampoo and some towels with you.