Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Return To The Fort Jackson State Forest - Part 2

The dogs and I were hiking in the Fort Jackson State Forest and had located the St. Regis River. The dogs were climbing out onto a big, flat rock for a look around. I followed them, being very careful of my footing:

Fergus, who'd declined to wade out into the river earlier, finally decided to get cooled off. The other little dogs, as you can see, merely watched:

That's when I noticed a lovely patch of Blue Flag, our native wild Iris, in bloom along the water's edge. These had narrower leaves and more delicate, paler flowers than the usual variety. I was sure that there was only one species, so I never looked it up until I began typing the text for this post. When I did, I was surprised to learn that there is indeed a species called Slender Blue Flag - and this was it. As for the paler flowers, I didn't read that, but did see photos of pale flowers like these, so I know they occur in the species: It was also blooming several weeks later than the Larger Blue Flag (which is the common name for the more ubiquitous species).

But it continued to get hotter and the mosquitoes continued to get meaner, so we began walking back the way we'd come. I was in no mood to go exploring in that heat, and especially not since I knew the steep hill we had to climb to get back to the car:

The dogs were by this time slowed down and seldom ran ahead any more:

We trudged along the level trail, parallel to the river:

And then turned left onto the trail which would lead us back up the hill:

Even though you can't tell by the photos, it was as steep as I'd remembered it. Both my old heart and old legs served perfectly, though, and we ascended without so much as a rest stop:

Well, the dogs made a couple of stops to smell interesting things:

Fergus and Daphne appeared to be wilting in the heat - and I certainly sympathized with them:

It was cooler and shadier when we reached the top part of the forest, a welcome relief, if only a minor one:

And before we knew it, there was our bright red car parked among the trees, just off the trail. This section of state forest is so conveniently close to home that I expect it will become a regular haunt for us:

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