First kayak adventure of the season at Delaware’s Trap Pond State Park in Delaware. It usually costs us $8 to park at the boat launch. This year we decided to go ahead and get a yearly, out-of-state permit (for seniors) since we like hiking, biking and kayaking there. The permit covers all state parks in Delaware except Fort Delaware State Park and Pea Patch Island.
Water was calm. And since it was a very nice day weather wise, there were a few people on the water. We paddled a little over 3 miles.
As usual there were a lot of turtles sunning themselves.
Into the cypress swamp. Arrows pointing the way to Terrapin Branch. On Google maps this is called Thompson Branch.
Flowers already in bloom on the lily pads.
Looking at me looking at him.
Google Lens app says this is a Yellow Crowned Night Heron? Not sure.
A week or so ago we found a brochure called “Just Walk”. It was put out by the Worcester County Health Dept. You could sign up and receive gifts for the miles you walked on 15 different trails. Most of which we had already hiked. There were a couple we hadn’t so we decided to go ahead and do it. The first one we picked was the Pusey Branch Trail on Old Furnace Rd near Old Beech Rd.
There is a cemetery at the front of this trail, so we thought we would check it out.
We then see this headstone. I knew by the writing and style that it is a military grave. When I got home, I decided to do a little research on S.C. Stevens. Private Stanley C. Stevens enlisted into the Union Army (Civil War) on August 30, 1864 at 28 years old. He was in Battery E of the 6th Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery. He was enlisted for 1 year and mustered out June 13, 1865. I could not find his birth or death dates.
We finish looking around and head to the trail.
The trail needs some maintenance but it is well marked.
We came to a secondary trail and headed that way.
The White Trail took us to a swamp, bright green life in an otherwise old, dying forest.
A few boardwalks and busted up benches along the way.
We found another path off of the designated path and tried to take that one but there was too much water.
Informational signs along the way. This one asks what is in a cord of wood?
I don’t think so! A mound of rotted wood.
Our path. A short hike and I couldn’t wait to get back and fill out the Health Department form to start earning free gifts!! Ha!! Get to the bottom of the form and it informs me that we have to be Worcester residents to register!!
As I mentioned above, I did some research on Pvt. Stevens. Because this hike was on the Pusey Branch and there were Pusey headstones in the cemetery, I just assumed the name of the cemetery was Pusey? (Researchers NEVER assume!). I went to the Find a Grave website and saw that the Pusey Cemetery is a couple miles west on Meadow Bridge Rd. The above cemetery is called the Nazareth Cemetery, from a church and not a private one.
So, a week later we head to find the Pusey Cemetery. As we head down the road Kathy sees some headstones in the woods. This one is a private cemetery called Bounds-McAllen Cemetery.
A small cemetery and not the one we are looking for. A photo on the Find a Grave site shows it with a fence. We head further up the road and we see a gate on a trail and we think this must be the place. Walking back about 700′ we found it. Seemed odd that there was a marker on the outside of the fence.
We found another Veteran’s grave. There is more available research on him, on Google, than that on Stevens. As can be seen, he was in the Confederate Army, the cavalry. Here is a link for info. http://www.mikehitch.com/me/5062.htm Thanks Mike for the info.
And here we have a tree growing on top a dead stump.
A photo from 2013 of the cemetery, Some sites show it just as the Pusey Cemetery. On other sites I saw it called the Pusey-Maddox Cemetery.
After visiting here, we hiked some. Another story, another time.
It would be nice to know the story of the two service men. They are buried a couple miles from each other, in cemeteries with family members of the same name. Did they know each other. One item I read about Azariah was that he enlisted in the union, was captured by the rebels and joined them?? So many questions, so little time…
This was a 3.6 mile or a 4.1 mile hike, depending on which map you use, in the Pocomoke State Forest. There is also a Green Trail (4.4 mi) and a Blue Trail (5.2 mi) in the same area. We chose the White Trail because it heads towards a creek – Corkers Creek. The entrance is across Rte. 113, from Shad Landing. Nice empty parking lot.
Maybe they will put up a trail map here one day.
Only saw a couple cyclist on the trail. Otherwise a nice quiet hike. The Green and White trails intersect for a short distance. We know what the dots mean, unsure of the numbers though. I wrote the park service to ask them. Waiting to hear back.
A few muddy spots starting off, but mostly dry. It is the Eastern Shore and there will be mud!
Buckshot warning about straying away from the trail…
But where would you go? Lots of thickets on one side and a swamp on the other. But I do know what they mean. Up on the Gunpowder Trails they don’t want you straying off – it can and will cause erosion.
Up ahead where Kathy is, take a sharp right.
Which didn’t seem right. We ended up at a ditch. On the other side in the distance I saw a trail marker…so let’s go.
Up the other side and a few 100 yards ahead we came to marker 77. End of the ‘Official’ trail.
Corkers Creek passes down below and across the way we see another mound. (Wondering if at one time a bridge crossed here?) One of our maps says Colburn Trail is over there.
We look to the right and head down to a nice area.
Kathy’s photo of some of the Cypress Knees.
Back up the mound and then down the left side.
Read that this was designated as a canoe creek. Don’t think so. Maybe at one time.
We walk a ways and come across the most Cypress Knees we have ever seen.
Kathy heads over for a better look…
Instead of heading back the way we came, we cut through the woods, but still have to navigate the ditch. I thought Kathy was going to want us to cross the log.
Some really nice close-ups that Kathy took.
Below is the map that AllTrails has. Path looks pretty straight and narrow – in and out.
Here is what it looks like enlarged, at the creek. We were all over the place!
Another wonderful adventure! We will probably do the Green Path by bike, next trip.
An old joke but still cracks me up – If Pete and Repeat were sitting on a fence and Pete flew away, who was left? Repeat. Ok, If Pete and Repeat were… and on and on it goes until someone tells you to stop it! What does that have to do with a nature hike post? Nothing, other than the fact we have repeated this trip to Assateague Island in Virginia a hundred times. And we never get tired of it. And we always seem to find a new adventure awaiting us – whether we are biking or hiking.
This particular trip was just to get out of the house before the rains came, have lunch and to look at the ocean from the parking lot. But the lot was closed so we decided to see what was going on.
Me wondering where all the sea shells are?
The beach is under a constant state of erosion and the Rangers/contractors are under a constant state of trying to fix it. I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that the Atlantic Ocean and Tom’s Cove will soon be connected. That at the rate of erosion, maybe by 2025 this stretch of the beach will be gone. So much for doomsday projections…Kathy and I headed over to the cove. Kathy was wondering how are we going to get over to that strip of land. The tide was the lowest we have ever seen it. Off in the distance is where we usually hike – The Bi-valve Trail.
Mostly hard sand but there were some pockets of mud.
Quite a few varieties of shells. Mostly empty oysters and mollusks. Some clams here and there.
Kathy’s photo of some bivalves.
And a very lonely, cold, star fish.
Time to head back and we thought this path would take us towards the beach. It didn’t.
It took us somewhere alien! I have an app on my phone called Google Lens, which if you take a photo with it, it will tell you what it is you photographed. The app didn’t know what to make of this.
We finally make it back to the parking lot. Amazing how it changes every time we visit. Bulldoze the sand up in a pile and the ocean just washes over it.
After walking around for a couple hours we then headed to the Crusty Crab at Greenbackville for a couple oyster sandwiches and their delicious coleslaw. Sat at the beach and ate. The tide was also low here…
Another great, repeat adventure with some new twists! Thanks GOD!
Part of the Pocomoke River State Park. Short hike, about 4.1 miles. We did this trail last month and revisited for other views, other areas we did not walk last time. Nice skim of ice on some of the water in the marsh.
Lots of reflections
Some interesting colors left behind from the local unicorns maybe?
Judy in disguise…or Kathy with a new pair of glasses!
Playing in the pipe or looking for unicorns.
Tree stand for unicorn hunters
The trail and the sights
A lot of these photographs were taken by Kathy. My camera has been giving me some trouble here lately. Especially with the batteries keeping a charge or even charging at all.
All in all it was a great day for a hike. Thanks Kathy and thank you God!
Drove up to Seaford Delaware to visit a family friend we haven’t seen in a while. Nice little town. Met at the local coffee shop, Every Fiber. Staff very pleasant. The upstairs is a meeting hall for the local Masons, which were established at Seaford in 1866. They moved to this location in 1912.
After our visit we drove around to check out the town. They are in the process of building a new park on the Nanticoke river. Across from which, we saw this big guy sitting there (Once again I leave the house, forgetting my good camera, only having my Canon point and shoot!)
Old granary with a couple locomotives.
Old Seaford train station and tracks.
Headed to the other side of the river to see if I could sneak up on the eagle for a close up. Nope…I startled a heron and when he flew off, the eagle flew away also. Got a photo of where he was resting though!
Left there and headed to Lewis. We were going to check out the ferry but decided to go see the sea at Henlopen State Park. Lots of snow Geese flying overhead. First thing we came upon was an old Battery – Herring Battery.
Historical sign describing its use.
Standing at the top of the dune we saw all these groups of white on the ocean – thousands of Snow Geese!
Views from the Battery – towards lighthouse and then towards Rehobeth.
Walked down the path to get a closer view of the geese.
And there they go!
Found this guy on the beach. Not sure what he is – prawn, shrimp, mini-lobster? But he was still alive. No sooner than Kathy puts it back in the ocean, an eagle swooped down and snatched him – Where’s the camera!!??
Looks like this washed up on shore. As did someone’s driver’s license. Tried to find the person on the internet, but no luck. Need to turn in to the police.
Wasn’t sure we would make it to Baltimore this year, to decorate our favorite building in our favorite park – Cromwell Valley Park. But we did! Heading across the field towards the Greenhouse Path (Not sure when they started calling it that), up in the distance we see the little house. Many years ago it was a bath house for the family that use to live near here.
Wondering how many more years our little house will weather the storms. I wish there was a way myself or any of the park volunteers could restore it.
And here I am, decorating.
Our finished Christmas gift to the park.
Time to make a Christmas wish…
We walk the trail to the woods and then head through to the old balancing reservoir shaft.
On to the Sycamore Trail
This is new. Built in 2019 by a Scout for his Eagle Scout Badge.
Hike towards Mine Bank Run. Can still tell this run continues to overflow it’s banks. Stopped to check out what I call the Bubbling Pond. They call it Marble Spring. It bubbles up from lime underground mixing with the water. Not much bubbling today.
From Mine Bank to the Lime Kiln Trail. I am still amazed at how these were rebuilt.
View from the top looking towards Long Island Farm.
The sky was spectacular this evening. This is at the park.
This one was taken from the Eastern Shore at the Bay Bridge. We pulled off of Rte. 50 to eat and look at the water and ships.
Kathy took this one from the car, heading towards Vienna.
Headed out a little late for a long kayak adventure so we decided to go to a spot nearby – Nassawango Creek to the Pocomoke River. We have done both of these this past summer, but this is our first time going all the way down the Nassawango to the Pocomoke. The water was unbelievably low today and as we stood on shore looking, the creek was still flowing out, rather rapidly.
I prefer a ramp/launch to get in and out of my kayak. I know I risk scraping the bottom quite a bit, but I’d rather do that than fall in! The water being so low, you need to step down two steps. (This is my favorite photo, taken by Kathy)
Kathy went in at the steps, I slid in next to this varmint box. A muddy mess here.
Low water for the whole trip, to and fro.
In the photo below there is a cobweb just floating along with us –
Alright, already we’ll all float on Ok, don’t worry, we’ll all float on Even if things get heavy, we’ll all float on… (modest mouse)
A splash of color to brighten the day.
Some very nice reflections.
The Pocomoke River up ahead.
A couple speeding boats zipping by. Kayakers get no respect on this river.
After about 3.5 miles, time to head back. Under the Nassawango Rd bridge.
Another nice reflection shot by Kathy.
Two steps down and waiting for the combine to cross over.
Our trip. Just over 7 miles with all the zig-zagging and crossing over the Pocomoke.
Another great kayak adventure. Next time we will need to check the tides. We hit a lot of submerged tree limbs and could not cut across the lily pads like we normally do. But it was still a great day to be out and grateful to be able to take these kind of trips.
Another great road trip to North Carolina. Kathy already there for a week before I headed down to pick her up. I was to stay a week also but the weather took a turn for the worse and we came back a couple days early.
It was very foggy when I left Salisbury, Md. to head south. The fog did not dissipate until well after Edenton. I missed the windmill farm, but Kathy got a photo of it.
One of my favorite stops is at the Dismal Swamp. About 1/2 way there.
Arrived at Indian Beach, N.C. and we took a walk. Shrimp boat.
The seagulls here are unlike the ones in Maryland that will hover over you waiting for food.
A Royal Tern
The next day John came down to take us out on their boat. That was very nice of him. With all this Covid stuff going on, we hardly see each other.
Heading under the Atlantic Bridge Causeway.
Easing past Sugarloaf Island, headed towards the N.C. Port. Docked there for the time being is the USS 50 (LSD-50), Carter Hall. Landing Ship Dock.
Here she is a little while later pulling out of port.
Not far from her is this interesting vessel – Go Ms Tree. Formerly named Mr. Steven. GO Ms. Tree – often shortened to Ms. Tree – is a fast, highly maneuverable vessel that was chartered by SpaceX in 2017 to support their fairing recovery program. The ship has been heavily modified by SpaceX so that it now has a large net structure designed to catch fairing halves as they descend. The name ‘Ms. Tree’ is a pun of the word ‘Mystery’. (from SpaceX website)
Pass this area of the port and ran smack dab into a fog bank.
Made it through there and we all, except John, got off onto Shackleford Banks.
My shot of Kathy and Gail, from up on a dune.
Kathy stepped on a couple Hermit Crabs.
Left Shackleford and headed over to Beaufort. You need to swing around Rachel Carson Island. Shrimp boats everywhere.
Sea Tow is like AAA of the water.
The CaryAli. Wow! A steel and aluminum ship. Built by Alloy Yachts in 2013. For just $25m she can be yours.
Looking through the Watercraft Center at a ship painted on a wall…
Went up Taylor Creek for a bit, looking at all the boats and quaint little houses. Turned around and headed to Pivers Island Road.
We made it under the bridge but then the water started getting shallow so we headed back to the Beaufort Channel and then towards Bogue Sound. Passing NOAA on the way. There are a lot of colleges and government research centers down here.
I guess it makes a good kayak launch?
After John and Gail left, to go back home, Kathy and I went over to Swansboro to find a nice place to watch the sunset. Saturday night and the town was packed! So we left and the sun was heading west fast, so I pulled over at Dudley’s Marina on Rte. 24 and Kathy took a photo of me taking a photo of the pelican sunset.
The ‘New Norm’ I hope not for too much longer. The next day we went back to Swansboro to look around
Domestic Muscovy Duck.
Another shrimp boat. Shrimp burgers from the food truck were huge, along with their oyster burgers and soft crab sandwiches.
Love the water – when it isn’t freezing. Or knocking me on my butt!
Our next adventure was to Cape Lookout Lighthouse, via a tour boat, where everyone was practicing social distancing, for the most part.
We cut over to the beach, hoping to find some 1/2 way decent shells. No luck.
Even some of the better shells were being fought over. This guy wasn’t giving up his shell find.
We leave the ocean side of the isle and head over to Wreck Point. Trudging through the dunes and marsh.
Balancing the Light.
Heading back towards the lighthouse.
Checking out under the dock…
Boardwalk to the lighthouse area.
This guy was going close to shore and other boats blasting his horn and making all kinds of noises.
On the way back, on Shackleford Island. Scratching an itch with his food.
Another day, another adventure. Off to the side of the Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium is a nice little hiking trail. About 1.2 miles.
We thought this coloration was the tree itself (Holly)
But it is lichen. Nice info signs along the trail.
One side of the trail is a marsh. The other side is the Bogue Sound.
Sign in front says End of Trail. Sign behind it says Last Marsh Overlook Ahead?