Sunday, November 6, 2016

Hiking Hickory Hollow

I've not posted in a month, but that is not because I've not been hiking.  I've gone hiking four times since then, and just didn't get posts written, which I plan on rectifying today and tomorrow.  Here is the first of them, a mellow hike in the Hickory Hollow Natural Area in the Northern Neck part of northeastern Virginia on October 7.  Being a natural area, I'd hoped to see and photograph the wildlife that Hickory Hollow holds, so I hiked with my binoculars and my heavier camera around my neck - not very comfortable.  I really didn't see any noteworthy creatures, but I enjoyed the hiking and saw some interesting mushrooms.  I really liked the sign at the trail head - it not only showed trail maps, but shows some artistic flair as well:

Here is a track of my 3.2 mile hike.  The topo map is not very interesting so I am showing a satellite view.  The Red Arrow marks my starting and ending point, the yellow arrow shows the direction of travel (counter-clockwise), and the yellow circle shows the interesting swamp that I got to.

The natural area is mostly deciduous forest, with some evergreens.  There are a number of trails, each color coded, and the terrain is pretty level.  It was a warm and humid day, but still always a good day to be out in the woods.

This is Indian pipe, a strange and ghostly flower.  Can you see the tiny green bee near the top of the tallest one?

I saw a wide variety of mushrooms while walking along.  Here are some examples.

I reached a swamp formed by the Western Branch of the Corrotoman River, and poked around there a bit, enjoying the interesting plants, flowers, and insects.

Here was an unexpected sight in the swamp - Old Glory flying from a tree!

Later on the hike, a totally different tree, I pondered if maybe there is a screech owl that makes this hole its cozy home.  I have screech owls on the brain since being serenaded a week ago at Goose Creek State Park in North Carolina.

I enjoyed reading about this man and his good works.  It is nice to remember people who made a difference after they are gone.

I'd like to get back here and explore this area further.  Other than hearing some birds - Carolina chickadee, blue jay, and red-bellied woodpecker - and seeing a couple of salamanders and a frog, I didn't see any wildlife to speak of.  But I enjoyed exploring a new area.  I didn't see another soul while hiking here for a couple of hours.


  1. Looks like another good hike!
    Those are some pretty colorful mushrooms.
    Nice to remember the good that people do. : )

    1. I enjoyed the hike and the mushrooms, but was disappointed not to see more wildlife. I carried my heavy binoculars and camera around my neck the whole way!