3 ticks and 583 clicks

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Posted 4/25/19

Spring is finally here. That's what EVERYONE has been saying. And by I everyone, I seriously mean everyone. I can't count the number of times I've read it online, in print, or even heard …

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3 ticks and 583 clicks

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Spring is finally here. That's what EVERYONE has been saying. And by I everyone, I seriously mean everyone. I can't count the number of times I've read it online, in print, or even heard it in passing. Don't get me wrong... I love the warmer weather! However, I cringe and inwardly think, "Yeah... this happens every April folks. Especially towards the end of it."

Yeah, I'm a bit salty sometimes.

Since spring has indeed returned though, it was a good day to take and wander off on trails, into the woods, down by river and everywhere in between.

I left the office and headed south on 97. I know there's plenty to see and do depending on just how far I wanted to go. I toyed with just driving to Hawk's Nest and taking the cliché photos that everone seems to take and post.  (Again with the saltiness.)

I stopped on the side of the road and took pictures of where they logged off the sides of the road to allow more sun onto the road. The worn yellow line was a beacon. Since it's early in the season, there isn't a ton of traffic. I strolled out to the middle of the road and listened for traffice before practically laying down to take a unique perspective of the pavement. From there I checked out the machinery parked on the side of the road. Rusty, chipped paint, dirty. Perfect for another photo.

The wood offered some unique photos as well. Stacked, splintered, jutting out at odd angles. It would have been great to go into the woods there and take a shot towards the road, but the no trespassing signs kept me at bay. They didn't stop me from photographing them though.

A few construction zones later, I stopped at the Roebling Bridge. Snapped a quick shot or two (because cliché) and wandered down the trail. The trail might be a mile long or so, but if you take your time on the flat and easy terrain, there's a ton of things to see. From flowers, to the first fluttering moths of the year, I took about 150 photos. That's also where I pulled my first tick off me. A small deer tick, which I promptly crushed with my pocket knife. If they could just bite someone else for a change, that would be great. (insert eye-roll here)

I'm not telling you about the tick to garner sympathy, or to make you stay out of nature. Just that it happened to be the first of three. Which really surprised me considering how wet its been and that its still just starting to be 'spring' in the area. Most people think ticks go dormant in the winter. They don't. Yet still, my brain is saying, "wow... ticks?"

Of course, this didn't stop me. I kept crouching down, walking through the leaf litter and finding those unique shots. I spotted some ferns in the distance, just starting to emerge from their winter hiding. When ferns are small, they're fun to photograph. I alwats picture the caterpillar from Alice and Wonderland when I look at them. Sure, its a different color... but the visual is SO similar in my brain, I can picture each little fern with a hookah.

I found some mussels, trees that had fallen, and small patches of flowers along the trail. The benches were a ton of fun to photograph for some reason. The solitude of them standing there on an empty trail was visually striking. Similar to a lone flower in the middle of a patch of leaves. Just waiting for someone to come and appreciate them. Just like the small plants growing in a tree stump along the way.

I found an ant stealing pollen from some small white and yellow flowers, the stump next to it was covered in fungus and made for a great photo. It was also a great place to pull of the next tick that I felt crawling up my leg. I disposed of that one the same way as the last and continued down the path. After a small venture off the path for a few photos of animal tracks and fallen trees, I reached the end of the path and turned around. Different view... new photos.

Sometimes, one pass isn't enough to see everything there is to offer in a mile. Retracing your steps can offer something new. Like dandelions growing in a crack, or the woman I passed who was cleaning trash along the path. We smiled and agreed it was a great day for a walk. The bench caught my eye again and I snapped another photo. I wasn't sure if my eyes were playing tricks on me, but it seemed the time I spent on the path has made the leaves grow out just a little more than they were before. I spotted some more fallen trees, and realized that the ones I had been admiring before didn't fall from the storms or old age. Beavers were making a good dent in the area timber.

Another picture of the bridge as I continued down the path, and I came upon a brightly colored moth flitting from small flower to small flower.

Finally, I made my way back to the car. I went as far as Barryville and Shohola, taking more cliche pictures as I went. Railroad tracks, signs, scenic photos. I turned around and started back up 97. There's one spot along the river I always want to stop and never do. The small waterfall that's slightly north of the Roebling Bridge. I parked the car where I could and walked about 800 feet to the waterfall. The light was perfect, and the camera was happy. Slow shutter speeds and a ton of F-Stops helped me to capture the slow and lazy flow of the water. I crawled up the bank, over the guard rails, pulled off tick #3 and finished my photos for the day.

An hour later, I finished processing 583 photos while questioning what was considered Classic Rock. (It seems more 80s and 90s music pops into rotation when I'm listening on Amazon or Spotify. Trust me. I'm more than salty about that.)

As I sat here typing this blog up in the office, I itched the top of my head and cursed. Loudly. "Another ****** tick." I popped it off the top of my head, stuck where my hair was long and pulled my knife out. I popped it on the edge, and sighed. "Make that four ticks today."

I'm a little salty over the thought there might be more.

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