For many years my husband and I would drive over to the Pennyrile State Resort Park for hiking, nature watching and just plain relaxing. It was a beautiful place to visit on weekends, or for longer stays. I remember one of the things that always struck me about the wildness of this place, was the dense forest that welcomed you as soon as you drove into the entrance. Even during the daylight hours those beautiful trees, so thick made it seem like night time.
We have not been able to visit the area for the past some twenty years and this past weekend decided to drive down and stay at their lodge and then visit the near by Land Between the Lakes area to observe the some 200 to 400 Bald Eagles, which most of you may already know by now, we saw none, notta, zip, zero.
Much to our surprise was how much of the wooded areas on the outskirts to the park had changed, actually they were gone entirely. Once we arrived to the park entrance, we were just sick. There were hardly any trees, just thousands of acres of devastation and loss. I went inside to register, and my first question was, "what on earth has happened to the trees." Two years ago this past October when Hurricane Ike ravished the Gulf Coast, those hurricane force winds actually reached beyond the shoreline and the park was hard hit. Like adding insult to injury, two years ago this past January 25, we had the massive ice storm and what Ike had not taken down, the ice storm had.
I am sharing a few images of the resort area as well as a red morph Screech Owl, which happens to only show up in the Eastern Screech Owl colourations. The little one was in the middle of the road as we came back after dinner. A Grackle had been hit and the owl was having a meal of it, as we approached. We turned the car around so that we could get a better view and also that I might try and get a few captures. The little one never stirred and that would have been very problematic had it been someone out to do it harm, for it stayed right on the road kill and would have so very easily been hit. Both times that we drove by, it never budged~
*Note...Upon turning the car around once again to head back to our room, I had the husby stop once again. I approached the owl and it flew up into a tree above the road kill. I took the dead Grackle and tossed it up on the bank underneath the tree. I would feel better knowing that the little one would not be dining in the middle of the street and possibly get hit~