Friday, April 16, 2010

Spring hike

Last week on my afternoon off it was a beautiful day; I got my errands run early and decided that Cory and I needed to go find a place to take a walk.

One of my favorite drives is out Middle Creek Road in Boone county. This time of year the wildflowers are beautiful, and it is always a good bet for seeing good birds. At the end of the road is Boone Cliffs, a little used park which is popular with birders but a bit steep for me with my bad knees (I have plans to make it to the top, but it will be on a day with no agility trials right afterwards and I will definitely need my walking stick!). So we started with a drive out Middle Creek.

Of course, I forgot my camera so these pictures were all taken with my Blackberry (whose camera is terrible). The detail is not great, but the drive was beautiful.

The entire ground was carpeted with wildflowers of many types. Wild phlox were prevalent, as were blue-eyed marys. Bluebells, larkspur, and a dozen other varieties I don't know the names of were all visible.
After driving down Middle Creek Road, I decided to head over to Middle Creek park. I had never hiked there, but had checked it out on the internet previously. A group of my dog training friends tries to get together on non-show weekends and find different places to hike with the dogs, and this was one possible site that we hadn't gotten to yet. There are about six miles of trails shared with horseback riders, and the overall traffic in the park seems fairly low.

Here's Cory in the midst of the wildflowers along the trail. The trails are very wooded and follow the creek; it was an absolutely beautiful walk.

Cory HATES being America's next top dog model ;-).

Here's a closeup of the blue-eyed marys. Aren't they pretty?

And here's some wild phlox, one of my favorites.

Here's Cory in the larkspur; can you tell he's had about enough of this posing business?

Here is a picture of the trail we followed; it was so pretty it was like being in a movie set. We had the whole park just about to ourselves that day. Unfortunately, wildflower season is also tick season. Yuck. I had found a tick two days in a row attached to Cory before the hike, but had forgotten to put his Frontline on before we went.

So I tried an experiment when we got home that night; I gave him his Comfortis, which is the once a month flea pill. We just started using it the end of the season last year and so far have had excellent results for fleas. It is not labeled for ticks; however initial reports seem to indicate that it has some effect on ticks but probably doesn't last a whole month. So I figured it would be a good experiment to see if I could observe any effect. (As of this weekend, I found one dead, attached tick on him 10 days post pill; I have found live ticks that he apparently carried in that crawled off of him and onto me or the floor, but no live attached ticks since giving it). Yuck. I hate ticks!

The trail meandered along the creek and eventually I realized that we were walking in the woods I could see from the road when I was driving. I wish I had known long ago there were trails there!

There were ample dead fallen logs to sit on and relax along the way. Cory gets impatient with my rest stops!

Even he was pretty tired though, it was quite warm (above 80) that day and after a long winter we weren't used to it! No gradual warming this year!

If you look closely at the picture below, you can see Cory in the creek. He was very happy when we found a spot where he could get down to it easily and promptly jumped in and laid down. Fabulous. He had just had his bath and groom out for a seminar that weekend...luckily he has a wash and wear coat, a quick rinse of his legs with the hose when we got home and a three minute brushing was all it took to get the creek stink off of him.

Spring is really here! My red headed woodpecker was back on Friday, much earlier than previous years! They didn't show up until May 16 last year, though they came back on May 4 and 5 the two years prior. Unfortunately I have not been home to watch my feeders much lately.
If you haven't started your flea prevention, it is getting to be time and if you have tick exposure you are LATE!

1 comment:

  1. Lovely walk! I think Blue-eyed Mary's are my favorite spring wildflower. (Along with Dutchman's Breeches and Mayapples and all the Trilium...) I have never been to that area; I should check it out some time.

    I hate ticks, too, even worse than fleas, I think. Frontline works great for Holly; usually I come home with ticks and she doesn't. Wonder if I could use it? Maybe just a dab behind each ear? [Note: This is a joke. Do not apply veterinary products to humans.]