There were only two hours of sun on Sunday, but man, did our GetHiking! Sunday hikers ever take advantage. We hiked about 5 miles on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail upstream along the Eno River from Penny’s Bend Nature Preserve in Durham, taking in one of the best spring unveilings we’ve seen in years. We saw vast carpets of spring beauties, their little satellite petals of white and pink scanning the sky for sun. We saw the slightly larger rue-anenome, then their less-common cousin, the Dutchman’s breeches, a small hillside of them looking like clusters of pulled teeth (only stunning). There were violets, there were bluets, there were mayapples about to do their thing, there were trout lilies that already had.
Another sign of the improving times: ranger/naturalist-led programs at North Carolina State Parks are beginning to pick up. Saturday, there are three guided hikes at N.C. State Parks, Sunday, there’s one more. Next weekend, nine events are scheduled — so far.
I woke up earlier than usual Tuesday morning and didn’t realize it until later. I was well into my morning routine before I happened to notice a clock.
6:10? Why am I awake at 6:10?
I looked out the living room window and saw why: the sky was already light, a glowing light even though sunrise was a good 45 minutes off. Even official twilight was a few minutes away. Yet it was already light out.
Winter is a season disliked more in anticipation than in reality.
That dislike begins the first day of summer. Though we generally do spend the summer solstice reveling in the most daylight of the year — 14 hours, 35 minutes and 8 seconds — in the back of our minds we know that it’s all downhill from here. The day after the solstice we’ll be down to 14 hours, 35 minutes and 6 seconds, two seconds that we won’t actually notice, but two seconds that we’re shorted all the same.
Consider the coming weekend as preparation for the winter ahead: high temperatures throughout much of the region won’t get out of the 40s. That makes it an opportune time to dig out your cold weather gear, see what works, see what needs replacing. Make good use of this test-run weekend and you’ll be ready for the winter months ahead!