Yesterday morning, I visited Southford Falls State Park, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite places. It's not large -- the loop through the entire park is only about a mile long -- but it is an extremely scenic place: There's a pond, waterfalls, a faux-antique covered bridge, deep deciduous forests with lots of huge rocks and impressive vistas... and plenty of interesting creatures, too.
Even the paths in this park are pretty. I loved walking across these tree roots cushioned in swathes of lime-green moss:
A tree had fallen across another part of the path, but that didn't stop the Indian Pipes from pushing up around it, both on one side...
And the other:
There were huge patches of Indian Pipes growing in this forest, actually, maybe more than I've ever seen at one time (those white blobs in the background of this next picture are even more of these ghostly plants):
Eastern Chipmunks were making good use of the many crevices in and around the big rocks along the path, and I saw quite a few of these little creatures during my walk. This chipmunk paused on its rocky throne to watch me warily, making a bright spot of rusty red among its gray and green surroundings:
How lucky are we, to have these adorable creatures living near us?
The woods echoed with bird calls all morning, with this Wood Thrush adding its voice from a branch directly above my head:
I regretted almost immediately, of course, that I didn't record a video of this bird singing its flute-y song (the Wood Thrush's call is one of my favorites), but the mob of mosquitoes chasing me at the time dissuaded me from stopping for more than a quick picture.
All in all, it was a lovely walk in a lovely woods. This is what summer days are for. :)
Side story: Today, I had one of those "aahh, why did I not bring my camera with me" experiences. I went with Paul to a 5K run (he ran, I watched), and we came across the most wonderful just-fledged Yellow Warbler baby, perched on a branch right at eye level, with its parent attending to the tree in general (and presumably feeding the baby and its siblings). I didn't get too close, for fear of startling the baby, and a zoom lens would have been really helpful! Oh well, that's what I get for leaving my camera at home. Anyway, trust me, it was adorable. :P