Friday, January 23, 2015

Trike Ride To Big Sandy Creek

January 23rd, 2015. After several very gray days, we’ve had three sunny days before descending back into gray, rainy days again. In addition to being sunny, the temperatures rose into the 60s F. Even in winter, I can go for a trike ride when its sunny; often, it can get quite warm in the sun.

I ride a recumbent trike. It’s a great way to get around and I can ride long distances that would not be possible on a bike, especially after breaking my arm last year. It’s just a case of sitting back and pedaling. Well… It’s a little more than that – but a lot easier than a bike. I’m sitting close to the ground and often see things that I wouldn’t see on a bike.

This ride, approximately 29 miles long, took me from northeast Walton County on Dry Pond, Daniel Cemetery, John Stowe, Macedonia Church, Gratis Roads and south on James Huff Road to cross US-78, then south on Gene Bell Road, then across to Pannell Road and south to Adcock Road where I crossed Big Sandy Creek. The return trip takes me north to Good Hope on Old Monroe-Madison Hwy and Queens Cemetery Road. From there I take Bearden Road and Powers Road to Mount Vernon Road, then Breedlove to Ike Stone and back to Dry Pond Road.

West on Dry Pond Road

Looking back up John Stowe Road after climbing hill that I usually coast down at 25 mph. It’s a litlle slower going this direction.

Traveling west on Macedonia Church Road.

Looking back up a short connecting road between Mountain Church Road and Gratis road. I don’t take too many photographs between here and Gene Bell Road because of the traffic. Low density residences in this area are still surrounded by hay ‘farming,’ beef grazing, cultivated pine forests, and undeveloped woods.

This bird nest always amuses me. It was built in a construction permit box. The proposed construction project was never completed; there’s no sign of any building. Birds, however, made good use of it. Hopefully, in spring and summer, this location will be used again and I’ll see what birds use it.


A pond at the intersection of Blasingame and Gene Bell Roads

Finally ‘out in the country.’ Just south of the Pannell Road – Pleasant Valley interesction. This area is an open with rolling hills with grazing land, much of which is devoted to hay production.

With some nice old oaks, and


Looking back up Pannell Road

More hay-producing land with an isolated copse.

Heading down Adcock Road onto the causeway across Big Sandy Creek, just a couple of miles below its origin.

The main swamp lies on the north side of the road. The area was flooded without harvesting the trees that are now only ghosts of the woods they once were.

The creek below the causeway. It's not uncommon it see turtles sunbathing on floating logs but they slip quietly under the water if I try to approach them.

Trees along the south side of the roadway.

As I approached the east end of the causeway, I started to hear Southeastern (Upland) Chorus frogs (Pseudacris feriarum) calling.

The field in which the frogs were calling.

A close-up view of the area from which the calls were coming. I sat for some time listening to them and managed to record the calls on my iPod. I was also pondering why they were calling here but have not begun to call at our place yet.

You can see to see what these frogs look like and hear their calls here. These frogs prefer to breed in grassy swales, moist woodlands, river-bottom swamps, and environs of ponds, bogs, and marshes. The water here was just a few inches deep. Even had I gone down to the water, I would not have been able to find them. They tend to stop calling when you get to the water.

I saw the first cattle of the day just east of Big Sandy Creek.

Another cyclist enjoying the sunny day.

A little further east on Adcock Road, I saw the Eastern Baccharis (Baccharis halimifolia) bush I had photographed last December. Now it was little more than a skeleton of its former self, to which clumps of seeds were still clinging.

Its former self; it looked much grander last December.

Then on to Old Monroe-Madison Hwy, and the ride back north.

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