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Alabama Adventures: Longleaf Pine Treasure Forest

After hearing about Pinus palustris from several southern botanist friends, I had to see the trees for myself! I had the great pleasure of ...

12 April 2014


On Friday, Ari spent the night at her grandma's, so Steve and I wandered around for fun. We ate dinner at a random Chinese place, then drove in a random direction. We stopped at a few stores, including a Barnes and Noble, then grabbed a late night snack at Sonic. I wish there was one closer to home!


Today, Ari came back and we ate lunch at Culver's, and since it was decently warm outside we went to the beach. Unfortunately we were so focused on nature that we forgot to a lot of pictures (or maybe that's a good thing?)...but we did take home some pretty rocks to decorate our plant pots with! It was great to get some fresh air, exercise, and see the beauty of nature. It was really quiet. We saw a bunny and some fungi. We also saw moss:


 I love moss! I hope to get my hands on some moss for the fairy house that I plan to make for my Mom. This stuff was all over the area closest to the beach. The area we ventured to is known locally as "The Endless Mile". Its next to the old power plant. You can park and go down the path...if you take the little paved road that splits right, you'll end up in Hosah Park. It is gorgeous later in Spring and throughout Summer; there are rare plants native to the IL Sand Dunes, as well as various wildlife. Right now, aside from the moss, fungi, and naked trees, there's not much else to see if you like flowers and colours. It is from this park that we detoured to the beach.

If you go straight instead of veering right, you will come to another road where you can turn left or right. If you turn right and continue on, the road crumbles away and falls into sand. Its slightly further down than where we were on the beach. Its neat to see these old areas that are no longer used as they were intended to; the power plant itself is no longer used, only maintained...and a lot of the old lakefront properties were claimed by the lake. There is even an area where you can see concrete slabs and a door below you as you swim in the lake, and quite a bit further out there is a raised concrete slab high above the water that you can (carefully) climb and leap off of. What an adrenaline rush! I always wonder what these areas looked like back in the day.

There is another area north of this park called North Dunes Nature Preserve that I'd love to check out. Its nice that our town has so many beautiful natural areas to visit, let alone the whole area! I often wonder why, in all the years I've lived here or nearby, I didn't know about these places. At least we can now show them to Ari!

She loves adventure! And sticks!

Tomorrow we were thinking about visiting Steve's home town (a short drive away), and wander around the parks there. I know Ari would love that. It is largely dependent on the duration and severity of the thunderstorms we are supposed to get! I love rain and thunder, but I'd prefer to go outside!