Monday, May 30, 2011

Eno River State Park

Well, we had another great weekend!  We went for a hike, with a picnic, after Church at Eno River State Park.  We'd never been there before but had heard great things about it, so we made the little trek up there to visit.  It certainly didn't disappoint either.  It's beautiful, peaceful and it's free.  (Which is always great right?)  And they have some sweet views, vegetation and campsites.  So, I'm pretty sure we'll be back quite soon!  :) Oh, and we finally just saw "The King's Speech" this weekend and loved it!  (Gotta love Redbox!)

Here are some pics from our trip...we've also been learning more about cicadas, their lives, cycles, etc...so I'll share some of that here too!  :)

A cicada.  More specifically a cicada that is part of "The Great Southern Brood", that only emerge every 13 years.  This one was a rather small one.  For the record they really still look a lot like a deformed and really large house fly to me...

A very large (GIANT!) daddy long legs...

Daisies.  Aren't they just the friendliest flowers?  I love 'em! :)

Just one of the many campsites.  They do cost about $15 a night, but just look at the nice tent pad along with bench and fire pit?

Pretty huh?  So jungle like....even equipped with vines.....for Tarzan....

There he is!!  We saw Tarzan!  He looked rather civilized though...  ;)

What's left after the cicadas molt.

Do you see what I see?

In the jungle...the mighty jungle...  Our first glimpse of the Eno River.  Beauty at it's best!  :)

'Nother trail flower.

AH!  Road block....we just climbed through though.  :)

Ok, here's some more pics of cicadas....I'll explain below.  :)
See the top left pic where there are a lot of holes in the ground?  Those are from the cicadas.  They just dug out from being underground (anywhere from 1' to 8' underground) for 13 years.  Once they reach the surface they find a tree and molt, leaving their old skin behind.  (As seen in the pic in the top right.)  Then they emerge with rather beautiful bodies and transparent wings like the pic in the lower left.  They can fly, sort of walk and most distinctly make quite a loud song as their mating call.

They fly around, sing their song and mate for only about one month.  Then the males die, and the females dig holes in trees (see pic in lower right) to lay their fertilized eggs.  The females can lay a lot of eggs, and as soon as they are finished they die too.  Then the larvae fall from the trees and borrow down into the ground where they feed on tree sap for the next 13 years until the cycle is repeated.  Pretty interesting huh?  You can read more about them here on Wikipedia.

Ok, so what...I'm kind of a nerd...and had to learn all about cicadas.  Well, we'd been hearing about them from people at Church this year and about how loud this brood was....  So, when J and I decided to go for a hike in prime cicada territory, the nerd in me had to come out and get educated about the little large insects!  :)  So, then I felt compelled to share it with J on our walk...and subsequently share it with you on here.  So thanks for listening reading.  :)

Anyway, we had a great hike and time in this State Park!  I think we logged 4 or 5 miles, and just had a great time!  :)  I love getting to spend time with this great man God gave me.  :)  And we're so thankful for our troops, past and present, today and always.  Thank you for all you do to serve and protect us!  Happy Memorial Day!

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