Soldiers delight

9/7/19- Choate mine trail through Dolfield trail – 2.99 miles

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“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” – Albert Camus

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We have decided that this morning we’ll head back to Soldiers Delight since the weather is finally in our favor. Lovely temperatures and fluffy clouds frame the morning sky. I even double T-shirted to make sure I don’t get cold. My upper layer is long sleeved because this trail has a lot of spikey vines and it’s also a good idea for keeping bugs away. Not even talking about the creepy feeling of catching spiderwebs every 2 minutes.

We have parked “Piroska” on the side of Deer Park rd. instead of the parking area since there is more shade here. Still like our shade, even though it’s cooler.

We start out at the southern entrance where the metal barrier is.

Air traffic sounds super busy this morning, feels like there is a Southwest airplane overhead every few minutes, possibly approaching BWI. Every time I look up I see the red/orange/blue belly.

Being here reminds me to breath – often times I forget – so I am pumping my lungs full of this precious, cool September gas.

The trail is all ours, no one is around.

Here is the split where we take a turn to the right, following Dolfield trail.

This portion is exposed to the sun for the next 3/4 of a mile but in exchange there are a lot of wildflowers to admire.

Purple false foxglove, Hairy aster, Shaggy blazing star, Yellow wild indigo

After the split, the trail gets pretty stony and be prepared to climb over or limbo – dance – under fallen trees. You can also count on crossing tiny creeks – west branch of Red run – along the path.

I recommend to wear long pants and long sleeve shirts especially because these thorny vines! Pretty hateful and painful when they latch onto you.

Smilax genus aka greenbriers

After we splash over another bend of the tiny snaking west branch of Red run the terrain hikes upwards onto an open field. Must be a killer to walk here in the summertime, getting blasted by the rays.

However this time of year it’s full of buzzing dragonflies, small butterflies and flying grasshoppers. They are constantly moving so taking a picture is impossible. Standing here for a few minutes with a smile on my face, looking at their playful chase in the sun.

Getting back to our walk, takes us across the stream once again to one of Mags favorites….dashing through water.

Continuing on the trail we reach the most southern corner which is parallel to Dolfield road and bends back in a huge angle towards North. We can here passing traffic. Hiking slightly upwards I have the opportunity to take a nice pano on the top.

Heading even further along the way, the path finally takes us back into the forest, making temperatures drop about 10 degrees. Niiiiice.

Interestingly enough we have to cross a private driveway along the way which I found a bit bizarre. On the other side, the trail is well maintained but full of milkweed.

One of my fave subject and not just when its in full bloom. Autumn still keeps it interesting with the funky looking seedpods and the milkweed bugs and their juveniles.

Keep on walking, the path winds back in the woods and we follow it until the next intersection when the orange and the yellow trail collides. We hike downwards but straight next to the houses on the orange. We don’t turn left!

We come across some funky mushrooms and a beautiful fern forest taking over the carpet of fallen leaves.

Down, down we go, towards the unicorn meadow.

Red run is featuring spectacular autumn colored fallen leaves while water skeeter bugs dance on the sunlit surface.

This place is magical! No picture I can ever take can do justice for it.

While heading out from the meadow, Mag spots – yet again – a big toad. Very handsome fellow indeed.

Since he is right next to the trail I relocate him….

Back out on the plateau we catch some other beauties.

Partridge pea, Whorled dropseed, butterfly, pine cone

Mag gets lost in the high grass….

and we finally make it back to our car.

I would love to see once how long would it actually take me to hike 3 miles without a sniffing dog 😂. 2 hours seems like an overkill.

It was a nice change to our regular walks with a bit of terrain change and the slight elevation change.

Be good y’all!

Published by magzilla44

I have rescued my parents (really!) in 2017 on a rainy day in May. It was a rough start ‘cause they didn’t know anything about me but I have showed them what an amazing person I am and things became happily ever after pretty quick. I am very social, both with people and other pets and sort. Love my cat sisters and brothers and off course I love hiking!

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