Because I never did find another spot (really didn’t look to hard) to do a year long series of shots of like I did for Mr. Fletcher’s Ride, I have decided for 2006 just to take my camera every time we hike and once a month post the one I find most interesting of the bunch.
Taking A Break - In the woods there isn't always a nice clean restroom at every off-ramp and you have to make do with what you can. My wife took this picture and is quite possibly horrified that I have posted it on the internet. (12/30/06) Morgan Cut 2 - November - After three weeks Morgan Cut looks about the same, still plenty of colorful leaves on the trees, but there are a lot more dead ones blanketing the path. (11/18/06) Morgan Cut - October - The leaves are just begining to change on the trees here along Morgan Cut. This wide trail is named Morgan Cut after baseball Hall of Famer Joe Morgan who is an avid horseman and has a home here in Aiken. OK, I just made that up, it is probably named for Thomas Hitchcock's mistress or stable lad or forrester. (10/29/06) Algae Pond - September - We can catch glimpses of this pond from both the Low Country Ride and Palmetto Ride trails, but we never get real close. Today we found a narrow, hidden, un-mapped trail down to it and were surprised to find a dam and that the pond is covered in algae. (09/17/06) Valley of the Magnolias - August - We followed this trail that we had never been on before today that runs from Doll Lane, across Crazy Creek, and up to 1977 Burn. The sign for Valley of the Magnolias trail is tacked to a big old pine tree and that is all we saw along the trail, pine trees, no magnolias at all. (08/27/06) Memorial Gate - July - Instead of entering the woods at our usual place, we went in at the end of South Boundary today. There were four other cars already in the parking area and we kidded each other about how crowded the 2200 acre woods would be with *all* those people in them. A short way in along this entry path is Memorial Gate, a brick gateway dedicated in Francis R. Hitchcock?s memory by his friends in 1929. (07/30/06) Palmetto Ride - June - We took advantage of the unseasonably cool summer morning to get out and take a walk today. Here is the entrance to a trail called Palmetto Ride which is quite a big loop that goes over by the Palmetto Golf Course. We didn't didn't take it because the coolness was not going to last, but we did manage a nice little walk anyway. (06/18/06) Kalmias - May - There is a subdivision in town called Kalmia Hills and I have always wondered where that name came from. Well as it turns out, the Kalmia is a flowering bush that is native to this area. I found this out when a co-worker asked me if we had noticed that the kalmia was blooming in Hitchcock Woods. After I said no, I asked where. Donna and I made a point of heading to that trail the following weekend. Yikes. There is one section that is blanketed by the bush with dense white flowers. (05/14/06) Wild Azaleas - April - The first full week in April means the Masters Golf Tournament and Augusta National is known for its beauty. A big part of that look is the abundance of azaleas around the course. Azaleas are also very prominent in the yards around Aiken and Augusta. Those are all domesticated azaleas, bred to really bloom and look good in suburban yards, but are nice to stumble on their more humble cousin, the wild azalea, while walking in the woods. (04/14/06) 2006 Burn - March - Here at the corner of Fox Field Loop and, ironically, 1977 Burn, is where they did a little controlled burning this winter. I may remember to take another picture here later in the summer so we can see the results. (03/12/06) Chalk Cliffs - February - We have walked along the tops of the Chalk Cliffs a dozen or so times while traversing through the woods, today was the first time I found my way down to the base of the 25' cliffs. (02/26/06) 1977 Burn - January - One of Donna and my favorite paths from our normal entrance point to deep into the woods. So named, I'm guessing, because it was the boundary of a much larger than usual underbrush burning in the year 1977. (01/07/06)