Lopez Lake and Bon Air Garden Tour 2009

For those of you in the central Virginia area, Garden Week is next week!  And one of my favorite tours is the Bon Air Walking Tour – for more info see http://www.virginia.org/site/description.asp?attrID=56951  and my posts from April 17, 2008.  Should be another great garden experience!

Back to earlier this month, and the camping trip to Lopez Lake with my sister, brother-in-law, and Yoko the large dog.  As we pulled up to the ranger station, this woodpecker obligingly posed.  It then flew into a hole in the eaves!  We saw several of them around the park over the next couple of days.  Haven’t gotten the field guide out yet – any of you know what kind it is?

Rain was forecast, so we had plenty of tarps with us – and we covered both of the tents.  They looked like bright blue mushrooms!  Later the first night, as the storm pelted down on them, we stayed dry!!  Unfortunately the restrooms were a ways down the hill from us, and I hadn’t had presense of mind to stash a bucket in the tent before I snuggled into the sleeping bag.  Fortuantely, the rain stopped around midnight, so when I struggled out at that chilly, doleful hour I thought someone had turned on floodlights – the moon was full and very bright!  It was lovely.

The next night, distracted that day by our grand tour of Carrizo Plain and the Soda Lake, I was still without a chamber pot, but made it til 2 am before dazzedly crawling out of the warm sleepingbag into the freezing cold, crouching out of the low tent entrance, without my glasses, and stumbling down the hill. 

On the way back, as I studied the still-full moon and its reflection on the mountain mists, I heard a discreet clatter in the campsite.  A skunk was skulking around the picnic table!  What to do?!  It already had its tail hiked in the air and I certainly didn’t want to rouse the dog.  So I threw a stone to scare it away and ducked into the tent.  Seemed to work!

Probably helped that we’d put everything away that it could get into.  The next afternoon, having again secured the campsite and walked up to our friend’s campfire just up the hill, we were puzzled by crows delightfully cackling and fluttering about below us.  Donna went down to see what they were getting into – the wind had flipped up the flannel backed table cloth and they were pilling off the cotton and flapping away with it for their nests!

I thought bears and cougars were all we had to worry about!

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