Along the Natchez Trace

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Over the River and Through the Jungle....

When we in town last week, Memo told us that a group of folks go on a walk on Monday mornings.  They meet at the plaza and he'd lead them on about an hour walk.  Of course we were interested...  he said that we'd get our feet wet so dress accordingly.

Everyone was supposed to be at the plaza at 8:00 this morning.  Memo was there when Bill & I arrived, and shortly after that 2 other couples showed up.  Both were from Vancouver in British Columbia.  Just when we were about to head out, another woman came along.  Her husband wasn't feeling well, so she came alone.  We were accompanied by one other...  a big white dog who has attached himself to Memo.  So the 8 two-legged and 1 four-legged beings headed off for our walk.

That's Memo, on the left.  
We did, indeed, have to wade across the river.  But we were all prepared and except for the mud along the banks, it wasn't bad at all.

Look at the size of this tree!
Memo told us that the root system spreads out quite far.  The circumference of this monstrosity, if hollow, would be as big a a big room in your house.

It's illegal to cut these trees down in the National Park (which we would soon be in)...  but they are prized because you can put a cut tree in the ground and it will take root. (like our willows in the USA).  They make a natural fence post when they are a little more mature.

This termite nest was across a field.  It must have been at least 3' high.  Wonder how many termites live there? 
This may be a sorghum (cultivated) field.  

This wasn't a birding walk, but of course I'm always on the lookout for different birds.
This Turkey Vulture was the only bird I saw on our walk through the jungle.

And we did walk through the jungle!
We walked single file on a dirt (muddy at times) path.  The mosquitoes weren't too bad, but we were told to check our bodies for ticks when we got back.

I've never seen ant hills like these....
They looked like mushrooms made of dirt.  Something else I'll need to check out later.

We came out of the jungle onto the beach.  Memo thought this might be a crocodile taking a nap on the river bank.  It was too far off for my little Canon to get a good shot, and none of us really wanted to go over to check it out.

We walked past the turtle camp....  more turtles hatched during the night.  We did learn a little more about this operation...  a group of people rescue the eggs... bury them in this enclosure.  When they are about to hatch, a wire cage is put around the buried eggs to contain the babies.   About 30 days later the tiny turtles emerge from their eggs.   The next evening, about dusk, the turtles are released.  Not as many birds (predators) are around during the late evening hours and this gives the little guys a better chance of surviving.
And.. Mitchell...  I'm told that the folks who sit around and guard against poachers and other predators do have campfires and sing...  but I got such a kick out of your suggestion that perhaps the turtles did that... ;-) 

We finished our walk and headed back to the plaza.  It seems stopping for a cup of coffee is the way they end this excursion...  But first...

We came across this man cutting up a huge fruit.  Memo told us it is a Yucca fruit...  very tasty.  The man gave one of the ladies a taste...  she said it was really sweet.  

At the coffee shop...
Everyone got a coffee (Bill & I each got a freshly squeezed glass of orange juice....  we watched it being made)...  and headed on the the plaza to chat a bit.

Here's our group...  I'm even (sort of) in the picture...  that's my shadow...  with the big hat!

Thank you Memo (far left) for a great walk.  We'll be back Wednesday for the walk up the mountain.

That's All For Today!


  1. Very nice to have narrated walking tour and check out the baby turtles too.

  2. I enjoyed the field trip! What a great tree.

  3. You can't really appreciate your surrounding until you get out and walk through it. I like to take walks and keep my eyes open for interesting things. No matter where you are, there is always something to see.

  4. I notice that everyone is in shorts except Bill and mostly likely you too! ;-) That would be us as well.

  5. Nice to have a guide that knows where he is going.

  6. They have crocs there? I didn't know that. I would not go close to check either! Don't bring any of those termites home please. We have enough here, and ants. But what a strange anthill. When I see a turkey vulture I say "Not yet, buddy, not yet." LOL. I'm cracking myself up.

  7. I really enjoyed this walk. Much more than I would have had I been there. Mosquitoes. Ticks. My allergies. No thanks. But, wow. And unless they plan to get the turtles involved in those camp activities, I think they need to change the name of the camp.