Our Day Hikes are always on Saturday, and so are the super athletic events in The Woodlands, like The Woodlands Triathlon today, or the Ironman earlier in the springtime. So, just getting out of The Woodlands and out to a Day Hike can be a challenge.
But, it was not an insurmountable challenge because a few of our hikers today managed to make their way down to Cypress Creek Park at Timberlane, along with all of our hikers who do not live in the middle of athletic heck.
The morning started out fine with light cloud cover and moderately warm temperatures. All things considered, it was nicer out than some of us expected it to be. We got off to a late start at 9:18 instead of our published start time of 9:00. It took a while for the last hikers to get to the parking lot.
Cypress Creek Park and the Timberland Hiking Trails are Don Macken’s home turf, so to speak. He knows all of the trails around there very well, and he took us on a scenic trip around the major ponds and small lakes in the area. He kept us on dirt trails most of the time, which we prefer. Those are not that easy to find in Harris County, where the major trails tend to be paved.
I took the group photo at the start of our hike. There were a dozen hikers in the photo, and adding the photographer, that makes for 13 hikers in all. We were pleasantly surprised to find blackberry bushes on the side of the trail. Most of the berries were still red, but there were enough black ones for those of us willing to eat stuff from a wild bush to get a small snack.
We hiked under railroad tracks and under the Hardy Toll Road. I came up in the second wave and saw our first hikers looking upwards at the Hardy. I had noticed Cliff Swallows flying away from the overpass. They have very distinctive wing shapes while in flight. I looked up and saw a long line of Cliff Swallow nests under the overpass. I should not have been surprised. I have seen the same types of birds and nests under the bridges over Lake Woodlands. The differences were that we were on dry ground, and the overpass is not as high as the bridge over Lake Woodlands.
We took our first break in a long open drainage and hiking section. There were plenty of wildflowers still growing including Prairie Coneflowers and Indian Blanket. As we were winding up our walk, I came across some interesting grasses. One had all sorts of little flowerlets hanging down. My iPhone did not recognize it, so I have posted in the Facebook Plant Identification Group to see if anyone there can help.
The weather was all around pleasant, although the temperature did climb during our hike. We took a long break around 11:15. After that everyone picked up speed and headed back to our starting point. The objective being to get out of the increasing heat.
We all had a nice time, and thanks again to Don for taking us out for a fine hike on a Saturday morning.
– Rene Champagne