American Holly

American Holly
American Holly

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Visit to First Landing State Park

March 11, 2016

As soon as I started looking for things to do in the Norfolk, Virginia area, I came across First Landing State Park.  Then I had a few people advise me to be sure and to hike or bike there.  So it was high on my bucket list for the area.


I got a little more involved with the Back Bay National Wildlife Area than I thought I would, so didn't get to the park until mid morning.  The park is on both sides of U.S. Route 60. The Visitor Center is on the ocean side.  I stopped there and paid my entrance fee. Then I followed the short boardwalk to the Atlantic Ocean. The beach had several people walking, running, or picking up shells. I was more interested in the trails through the woods and swamps on the other side of the road.

I ended up hiking more of the trails than I intended, including one that I took a wrong turn on and hiked the whole 2.5 miles, rather than less than a half mile.  So I think I hiked about two miles here, two miles at Back Bay NWR and then about another mile at Norfolk Botanical Gardens.  I had thirteen and a half miles on my stepmeter when I got back to my friends house that night.



Osprey seemed to be working on the nest

I enjoyed this beautiful pine bark 

Carolina jasmine was starting to bloom

One of the many little pond

This bush was just starting to bloom

More art from bark and lichens

Last year's leaves still adding beauty to the tannic water

These swamps provided fresh water to the ocean-going ships

Cypress and reflections

A close view of a cypress

I think sweetgum seed pods are lovely - and look even better with a chickadee
hanging upside down on them


This was the only turtle I saw

Another lovely swamp sceene

A burl always makes me want to carve a bowl



A view of one of the paths I took - and the only one with an elevation to a little hill 


I had to look hard to find any berries missed by the birds and other creatures

One of the few fellow hikers

A viewing platform lets you get a closer view of a swamp

This area was still mostly snoozing.  I imagine it looks much different now as the new leaves come out and spring bloomers wake up.

I have left North Carolina and Virginia behind and am currently pausing in my own spring migration in Pittsburgh while I visit my daughter and son-in-law.   But I have a few more adventures from North Carolina to tell you about later.