Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Over the Rise

There is an old song with these repeated lyrics:

 the bear went over the mountain
to see what he could see
and all that  he could see
was the other side of the mountain...

When hiking, I often wonder 
just what may be around the bend or over the rise.
And even though I may be overheated and over-humidified,
I can't resist taking one more step to satisfy my curiosity.
My brother once said that our family is much like the bear in the song--
we always have to go see what might be over the mountain.
I'd say that's definitely true in my case.

As I mentioned in yesterday's blog,
during our recent walk in Bells Mill Park,
we were surprised by the hillock that rose ever so slightly before us 
after we rounded the shady curve of the trail.
I was sure if we just kept walking, 
we would find the waters of the Elizabeth River
or something equally interesting.
So what did we see after we walked to the top of the rise?

Well, looking to our left, another tidal creek:

And a little ways further up the path, 
a profusion of waxy cedar berries:

And there were dozens of dragonflies dipping and gliding over the meadow, 
and a few birds: mockingbirds, blue jays, and sea gulls.

And this orange-juice colored trumpet vine:

And this mystery tree. 
I couldn't find any source that clarified exactly what it is.
At different times I thought beech, or littleleaf linden, or even persimmon.
But I don't think it is any of those:

My husband headed into the undergrowth at the edge of the field
and found another view of the creek, but not the River.
We circled around to the other side of the meadow and started back.
I found a black cherry tree heavy with fruit, 
and then a few steps down the hill, 
this high-rise view of a branch of the creek we passed coming in:

It turns out that the side of the Park 
we chose to hike is a small peninsula
jutting into a large tidal creek coming off of the River.
But now, I am curious to see 
what sights and sounds might be on the side of the Park we didn't choose. 
It's probably going to look just like the side of the Park we hiked.
Even so, I know I will have to go back one of these days 
to satisfy my curiosity.
I'm sure the bear would understand.

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