My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Little Hike at Bogue Chitto State Park

Hulin and I decided to go a little further afield for a short hike, so  visited Bogue Chitto State Park in south Louisiana.  The day was partly cloudy with times of sunlight. We arrived mid morning and found it to be very quiet and totally without humans except for the ranger who took out entrance fee and ourselves. 

The landscape there is very different from my Montana views.  It is flat, wooded, and very green.  There was only a few trees showing any color: sumacs, tupelo, sweetgum and a few other species I didn't know.  The color was more like bits of jewelry, rather than the full blitz I've been seeing further north. I was scolded by a few Carolina wrens and blue jays, but otherwise birds were scarce. 

A bit of fall color across one of the ponds open for fishing

There are lots of invasive plants - these are elephant ears - a menace to wetlands

Even the cypress trees are finding it hard to realize they should be turning -
days are 70's - 80's and nights are in the 60's - 70's. 

Only a few flowers were still blooming

This leaf caught my eye because it is the exact pair of colors I used to
paint a friend's bedroom for a Christmas present

The river is open for paddling 

The Bogue Chitto River has both very low banks to higher ones. The campground is on a bluff.  We didn't visit it this trip.

View looking upstream on the Bogue Chitto River - currently running very high and fast

The river has lots of sandbars - great for overnight paddles with camping

I had to take extreme closeups to capture fall color

There are lots of acorns to feed squirrels - for some reason a squirrel had
eaten only half of several acorns

View on the way down into the gorge

One of the most interesting parts of Bogue Chitto is that is seems to have both sand dunes and swamp within it.  There is a gorge, which is accessed by 65 steps down and then, then by a boardwalk through a swamp.  All of this is almost pure sand. But the bottom was very swampy. There were also a few other places on the trail where the trail changed elevation over what appeared to be sandunes, now covered with trees.   Even though leaves are not turning, lots of them had fallen, making the damp steps and boardwalk slippery.

Hulin coming down into the gorge - 65 steps

A tiny clear streamlet, draining the lowlands along the boardwalk at the bottom of the gorge. 

Mushrooms in pumpkin color

A tupelo tree leaf I found on the boardwalk

Oakes mostly turn from green to brown but this one was a little redder than most

There were few Yaupon berries  and they were protected by mockingbirds

Another bit of fall color

Part of the path after I came out of the gorge

In the piney highlands

Sweetgums may be my favorite trees in fall.  They turn shades of yellow to red to purple,
sometimes all  on the same tree.  And I love to watch chickadees hang upside
down from there spiny fruit balls while extracting the seeds. 

It was a good hike on a nice day. But we did work up a sweat in the heat and humidity.  I'm looking forward to my departure Monday to slightly cooler environs.