There is a gravel road entrance to a parking area right on Hwy 59 not far from the Forest Headquarters. I lucked out and there was a brief break in the clouds just as I was parking so I got at least one shot with some decent light in it.
As I was taking my shot a truck pulled up and a hunter got out with his dog and his rifle. He was out to get a shot of a different kind. I was kind of relieved when he turned away from the trail and I continued on out into the open prairie on my own, hoping I didn't have to worry about stray bullets.
|Orange is the new black?|
I didn't expect to see much on the Scuppernong Prairie so I was surprised when I spotted a Blue Heron hanging out in a treetop. Of course he wasn't thrilled about my presence and took off.
The only thing breaking up the prairie was a small spring which cuts through on its route from Paradise Springs which I visited two summers ago.
|I'm a slave to fashion|
I walked quickly because light was fading fast, but I eventually made it to where it crosses County Hwy N and turned back. Past the halfway point there is an interpretive sign about the prairie, which gives information about the types of animals, grasses and forbs (flowers) that grow here. Of course at one time this was a vast wetland-low prairie area that covered tens of thousands of acres. The DNR has been doing controlled burns to restore this area since 1999.
I kept expecting to hear coyotes as I walked back in what was quickly becoming full dark, but they must have been busy elsewhere.
It only got down to 38F overnight and my new sleeping bag is the North Face's Snow Leopard which is rated for 0 and did a fine job. I read the last of Edward Abbey's "Desert Solitaire" on my Kindle and enjoyed my unexpected text session with an old friend as I listened to a very overzealous nearby woodpecker. Unlike the previous weekend I slept all night, only waking briefly once or twice but not due to the cold. I had much more trouble disassembling my tent in the morning due to the cold wind on my fingers!