Blossoms in the mud

when I got out of the car at DuPont State Forest for my daily hike, I looked down and thought that someone had painted a fake carpet in the parking lot. Turned out to be patterns of ice in the frozen mud. Beautiful and intricate patterns of strangely fractal shapes. Nature is astonishing. And this pic is more beautiful than just another shot of the woods in winter, which must be experienced and not just photographed.

What was I thinking

Yesterday I went to Chimney Rock, a classic North Carolina hike – it’s a tourist thing, but also an amazing place of rock formations, and I really miss the good solid granite of New England.  With a little gneiss thrown in for our viewing pleasure.  Below is the infamous Exclamation Point.  The picture doesn’t do it justice: imagine little tiny dots on the top, representing people.  This thing is massive, and very high.  They have created metal and wood staircases so you can walk right up to the top, “completely safe” says the map.  However, you can also see straight down beneath you the whole way, and some of us prefer not to know.  I got almost to the very top before I realized that going down was going to be 10 times for exposed than going up.  Going down was a trial for me, so I chose the Subway route, the end of which is shown below.  At the top of the photo, it goes through a cave, which for me was the easy part because I felt protected on all sides.  Emerging from the Subway at the top? Hell.  VERY exposed.  There were many kind people who asked if I was ok, probably because I was puking and gasping from fear.  Nobody was nasty.  Nobody rolled their eyes.DSC00076DSC00075