We were invited to go hiking in Gadsden County with our good friends after church today. We took our picnic and headed to Bear Creek, a place B and I have been several times, but it was a first for one in our party. On the drive over, it started to rain. It continued to do so off and on for most of the afternoon. I guess that 10% chance must have been sitting on top of us. We have hiked before in rain, but we have gone prepared for it. B and I, clearly, were not today. It never poured, but it was enough to get us wet. I was mostly anxious about keeping my camera dry. The park had a pavilion for our picnic, which was nice. Until we left, we did not see a soul. Two other cars had arrived after us, but we never saw anyone.
Irises were growing by the little dam that creates a pond. The new growth was a beautiful deep purple and the combination with the greens was striking. I suspect this last week's freezing temperatures may be responsible for the purple. This picture's color, unfortunately, does not do it justice.
We saw many lichens, mosses and fungi as we walked. This large (grapefruit-size) fungus was in a log.
There was quite the variety of shelf lichens. Here, a large log was covered in them.
Sphagnum moss is not all that common here, but it was abundant in places near the stream.
A bird had made use of it in this very small cup-shaped nest I found on the ground. It fit easily in the palm of my hand.
This lichen was sending an early Valentine message.
Now that I consider it, all of these plants are moisture loving and for us to get a little wet was just part of the whole scheme of this environment.