08/19/11 – Locust Grove Hike

Today’s hike was at Locust Grove in Poughkeepsie.  I’m beginning to see a trend with my latest hikes – it rains every time I finish (only in one instance did I get caught in the rain this year).

I started with the historic site grounds and gardens in search of butterflies to photograph.  There were certainly plenty to choose from too.  There were dozens of silver-spotted skippers and cabbage whites, plenty of swallowtails and even a few monarchs.  The highlight at the garden was a pair of hummingbirds that kept zipping by.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Every few minutes I would see them stop at this one type of plant to feed, so I waited for my moment.  Sure enough, one landed and I got this shot!  She sat still for just a few moments and started hovering near the flowers before taking off.  I’m only lucky enough to get one or two photos of hummingbird per year while out hiking, so it looks like I’ve hit my quota! 😛

After I spent some time photographing around the grounds and gardens, I made my way to the nature trails.  It seemed that my stay might get cut short, as it continued getting darker out.

It was a good thing I wore bug spray today, because the biting flies were numerous back there!  It was pretty quiet though, probably from the upcoming storm.  Then it hit me… with all the rain and humidity, I should look for mushrooms!

Good decision!  Instead of looking up into the trees, I looked to the ground and sure enough, different types of mushrooms everywhere!  I don’t know my species of mushrooms at all, but that doesn’t stop me from photographing them.  I even found some feathers to add to my growing collection.

Unfortunately, thunder began to rumble, so I literally ran back to the visitor center to pack up my gear and head on my way.  It turned out to be the best decision of the day, because it was quite the downpour!  I wouldn’t have wanted to be caught in that one.  At least the day ended with some color though.  Everyone enjoy the weekend!

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