When we got there, the gates were closed, although they should have been open for another hour and 15 mins according to the sign on the gate, but we decided to park at the little lot (X) there and walk down. But not on the road like we usually do! We opted for a VERY muddy trail that left from the little parking lot. When we first got out of the car, all I could smell was mud and damp mucky things, the smells of early spring. ^_^ The trail was quite squishy in places, covered in a nice thick layer of wood chips in other places, and some... well some were quite wet indeed (A)!
We turned the wrong way at the first intersection after the power lines and ended up back at the road, but that's ok; we didn't have a map with us. We just headed on down the road and into what they call the Wildflower Trail (which is part of the green trail (B)). I took a picture of the main building from across the water and we heard, and then saw, lots of chickadees, and some geese and mallards too! Then we saw a cool nest hanging in a tree, probably from a Baltimore oriole.
Eventually we wandered over to the main building to see if they had a map, but there were none, although we did sign in. Then we (ok, me) got distracted by some mallards doing weird things in the water (C). I still have no idea what they were doing... So we headed over to the herb garden (D) to see all the herbs tucked in for winter, then back up the road to the boardwalk part of the green trail (E).
We saw evidence of some beavers (chewed up wood in the middle of the creek) and I was surprised by all the mushrooms that were growing! Not just the big polypores, although we saw those too, but lots of small delicate-looking white ones and little reddish-brown ones on the wood chips in the trail. There were lots of dead and downed trees along the 2nd part of the boardwalk (F) where we saw them growing.
We decided to keep going when we got to our usual turn around spot, and I am so glad we did! The trail wound along the edge of the swap a bit, then headed back up and over a ridge, at the of which was an old stone wall that had fallen down (G). So pretty! And eventually we came out by the road but the trail shadowed it (only a few steps away) for a ways longer, so we followed a shortcut someone had made (or several someones) and headed back up the road to the car. Right at the entrance they have some little snowdrop bulbs planted and look! They're already poking up!
So we had a loverly walk this afternoon, even without the mean old sun. No bugs, no heat, no bitter cold, no biting wind.... and spring was in the air! ^_^
Oh, and I handed Jacqueline the camera when I got in the car, and this is what happens... She takes my picture! :P You can see more by going to my flickr (um, apparently they're having a massage now...) or my LJ scrapbook.