Dirt Man, Wylie,and I hiked the trails of Kiptopeke State Park on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. The trails consist of boardwalks along the beach as well as the beachfront, sandy trails, grass trails through fields, bridges through swampy areas, and earthen wooded trails. We walked a bit along the paved road as well. I prefer to stay off of gravel and asphalt as it is hard on the back and feet. We only needed to walk a short ways on the road to get back to another trail. We ended up hiking six miles. I liked the variety of the trails and the wildlife which varied between lots of deer, a few squirrels, and an unbelievable amount of migratory birds. I will get back to the birds later in this post.
Because steel was scarce during World War I and II, the government experimented in having concrete ships built. At the beginning of World War II, the government contracted to have a fleet of twenty-four ships constructed. After the war, ten of those were sunk as breakwater here in Virginia.
The Fall colors were spectacular against a beautiful blue sky. Today was comfortable, slightly cool while on the waterfront.
It was a gorgeous day with the beautiful sunshine and the sounds changing from the lapping of the water, wildlife scurrying through the leaves to the comforting melodies of the lovely song birds.
I am not nearly as quick as I’d like to be with my camera. Dirt Man and Wylie were romping around on the beach and he went down…by the time I got a shot, they look like they are taking a leisurely stroll.
This is a dilapidated house that sat near the main high way and to the side of a field that we hiked around to get back into the woods. As usual, I found myself thinking about the long ago occupants and their lives. This sits among an area where they are trying to grow a forest. There is a wide grass trail surrounded by young trees on each side. Some day it is going to be magnificent. But I doubt that it will reach that maturity during my lifetime.
This is a bench sitting at one of the beach overlooks at the end of one of the trails. I usually complain about people defacing public property, but at least, this one has a nice message.
I had to take a picture of the cirrus clouds. The thin wispy streams streaked the sky here and there adding character to the bright blue background.
This is Taylor Pond which is a borrow pit that had been dug for material for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. This trail and the native plant garden were just opened to the public less than two weeks ago. This is a newly acquired twenty-six acreas that totals the park at 570 acreas. I took the picture of the diving ducks from one of the newly built wildlife viewing blinds. There is an area to the side where there are hundreds of newly planted trees which were planted in an effort to restore the area as migratory songbird habitat.
The deer were plentiful. I got a few pictures, but they were usually faster than I was with my camera. This shot is the closet one I got. They are smaller than the average deer. This deer is on a trail along side of the migratory bird netting. They use the netting to capture and band the birds for migratory study.
The number of birds banded each year range from 6,000 – 8,000. They are carefully examined, data recorded, banded, and then released. This organization conducts migratory songbird research, raptor research, and butterfly research. On today, October 23, 2010, according to the chart posted they had 5,067 new birds, 93 species, and 71 recaptures. They had a huge listing of today’s sightings.
The butterfly garden is beautiful. There is a path of white crushed oyster shells. I have no idea what these lovely purple flowers are.
I have no idea what these pretty fuchia flowers are either!
However, I do recognize the daisy family when I see them!
Seeing this sign tucked away in the trees between the migratory bird watch observation tower and the road was the highlight of our hike. I love coming upon gems of history like this! Totally awesome!
This is a photo I found online. It is actually a postcard circa 1959. It appears to have been not only a motel, but a restaurant as well. Now how cool is that?!