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Outdoor Outings! Love 'Em!!

A great day for hiking!

This past Sunday, my family made the mistake of asking me what I wanted to do for Mother's Day.  Whenever I am asked a question like this, my answer is always the same......  Let's go for a hike!

It just so happens that we live just a few miles from a fairly large river.  Along this river are old growth forests and cypress swamps.  My family is very prepared for one of my outdoor outings.  Everyone quickly donned their hiking boots, water bottles and bug spray.  We live in the deep south..... bug spray is NOT optional!!

The woods are gorgeous at this time of the year, and I always have my camera.  I thought I would share some of the amazing sights from our 2 hour hiking expedition.

In the south, the waters are dark and murky,
but the cypress trees are just gorgeous.
Luckily, we did not come across any water moccasins.  

This area of the swamp is completely covered in duckweed.  It completely covers the surface of the water and is often found in eutrophic conditions.  You might think that it would be destructive by the way it completely covers the surface, but not so.  It is a very simple plant with no leaves or stems.  They consist of just a small thallus.  Duckweed is high in protein and is an excellent food source for the waterfowl.  Duckweed is often used in bioremediation because they grow rapidly and are excellent absorbers of mineral nutrients, especially nitrates and phosphates.  They are great water purifiers.

We saw many types of waterfowl, along with their babies.
Here is a Canada Goose with babies.

Is there anything more precious than baby ducks??
Mama duck was close by, just outside of the picture.

Now this is one amazing sight!!  This owl was out and about
 hunting at around 3 pm.
 It was a dark and overcast day, but even so, I have never seen 

an owl at this time of the day.

We had the pleasure of watching this little guy fishing for crawdads.  

It was a great day spent in the woods.
Many thanks to my family for indulging my every whim on this wonderful Mother's Day!

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