Sunday, December 7, 2014

Number 50: Atlanta State Park

On the Friday after Thanksgiving, Breck and I headed out from our cozy B & B with full bellies  and fully charged batteries in my cameras ready to tackle the last three parks we planned to visit on our trip.  First on the list was Atlanta State Park.

The park had almost 5 miles of hiking trails through pines and oaks, but boasts shoreline on Wright Patman Lake as well.

On this day it was the lake that I was most interested in.  It's the right time of year to spot Bald Eagles around here and I had high hopes of catching sight of one with my camera.

I had visions in my head of one soaring out over the lake, swooping down to snatch a fish.

Unfortunately, we never spotted one, but we thoroughly enjoyed the scenery and the hiking.  Have I ever said the hiking was horrible?  It's hiking!  It's outdoors!  It's peaceful!  It's always good.

The trail we took was blocked by fallen trees in many areas, and downright challenging to follow in others marked only by yellow paint on the trunks of trees.  You can see the paint on the young pine in the top left of this picture shows us the trail goes right through this downed tree.

There was a beautiful oak with leaves that turned the color of pennies in the park.  It was amazing.  The ground beneath it was littered with acorns and many of them had begun to sprout.

Once I saw the acorns I realized that I had spent my time up to that point looking at the tops of the trees hoping for a glimpse of an eagle and had neglected the forest floor.  Unusual for me since I most enjoy close up photos of plants and small critters.

I am still amazed we so often don't see another person out enjoying what our state has to offer.  Mind you, I do enjoy the solitude while we are there, but it's a shame.

I learned a lesson here and will never enter another park with a one track mind.  There are far too many wonderful things to see to be so focused on one goal.  And one day, maybe, I will see and photograph a Bald Eagle.