Posts Tagged With: woods

IOTA TO CHICOT STATE PARK.

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We watched the sun set on the small town of Iota but everything was closed up tight on Saturday. Sunday morning, we headed  to Chicot State Park for a five day stay since it is fairly central to Eunice, Iberia and other smaller towns we can visit on day trips.

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After we got settled in, I took a bike ride around the park while Jim napped. (His bike has a flat tire.) Flowers seeded into this puddle and braved the cold.

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The woods have few leaves but plenty of moss.

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The park is huge. It has a boat launch, lake, arboretum, swimming pool, lodges and cabins. And a lot of wood. Many people in camp have or had fires.

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I happened on this gravel road and took it for about  two miles and found three lodges, empty of guests; neatly painted. A nice, quiet place.

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I’ve seen this flower before, but never attached to its stem and leaves. Not only beautiful but fragrant.

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I ran into a couple taking each others picture and offered to take theirs together. They were just cooking gumbo and invited us to join them for dinner. I took a picture of Shawn stirring the pot.

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Huge pieces of chicken and a rich gravy. I could have sworn I took a picture of both Shawn and his wife, but I took three of them with their phone and thought I’d taken one  on my camera. Dang!

They left the gumbo to finish cooking and went kayaking for the afternoon. They wanted to check their yo-yo’s and hopefully find a couple of catfish to bring home.  I had no idea what yo-yo fishing is. Annette explained it as a bobber that is like a yo-yo. You pull the hooked string and it dangles in the water. The yo-yo itself is tied to a nearby tree. When the fish bites, the string zips up to the bobber and hooks the fish.

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At six p.m. I walked over without Jim to bring the California hippy salad I’d promised for dinner. (Jim wasn’t feeling well.) I expressed my regrets but this Italian Cajun cooks a mean gumbo and she insisted I bring some home. “You gotta eat it with potato salad, that is tradition in our family. The potato salad goes right in the gumbo”, she emphasized. Absolutely delicious. We didn’t have a chance to visit long. She is a grammar school teacher. Shawn works testing and xraying welds on the pipe lines. They leave this morning and I didn’t even get their last name. Double dang. Some days you forget to take your brain with you.  The weather is supposed to be wind, rain, hail, possible tornado. We’ll probably stick close to the park.

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BEAR GULCH AND BOBCAT HILL

Thousand Trails Thunderbird at Monroe has several woodsy trails. Though wet from rain the previous night, we decided to take advantage of a sunny afternoon and try the steep, somewhat muddy Bear Gulch Trail.

Walking under moss-covered branches, stepping over downed logs, seeking out areas disturbed by animals and guessing whether it was a fox or ring tail cat, or bob cat temporarily gives you the feeling of being miles away from civilization.

A small animal burrow. Oh, that I had my biologist daughter with me.  She would know in an instant what animal created this distinctive hole. She is more fun than anyone I know to take a walk with  in the woods.

Two  slugs were the only creatures we saw. At two inches long  when tightly snugged this slug was a real curiosity to me. I had never seen one like this before. Wikipedia tells me it is an Arion Slug. When disturbed, it stretched out by another inch.

Damp mosses cover everything that doesn’t move.


Old growth giants provide the deep shade.

Trees struggle to reach the sun.

Giant ferns make up the under-story.Where ever sunlight filtered through, a  plant with leaves  resembling maple  overwhelmed the ferns.

We walked every trail in the woods and reluctantly returned to civilization again.

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