Today Beth and I walked to the Union Church. One of my caching friends had hidden a cache there, and it had somehow escaped my notice until now. I had been thinking about placing one there, but thinking about it and doing it are two different things. I thought. She did. And actually, she had hidden it exactly in the spot I had intended to.

On the way there, we saw a garter snake.

Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)

Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)


I haven’t seen many snakes this summer. I think this is actually the only one I’ve seen.

Once we got to the Union Church and found the cache, we headed over to Beth’s first geocache. Not so we could see the cache (but we did check on it), but so that I could check up on a shrub I had marked there last winter. I marked it by tying a length of yarn to it so that I could identify it when it had leaves. I find it funny that I marked it on the winter solstice and checked it on the autumn equinox. Pure coincidence! Here it is with leaves:

Marked Shrub

Marked Shrub


I still don’t know what it is, but I’ll dig through my books in a little while. If you look closely, you can see the blue yarn marker right in the center of the frame behind some of the leaves.

While we were out that way, we stopped by Sandogardy Pond for a few minutes. Then we headed home again. After I caught my breath, I put the roof rack on my car and loaded up my newly repaired canoe. David was spending the day with some friends, and I couldn’t talk Beth into coming with me, so I went alone.

Topside

Topside


I paddled it around the pond in a counterclockwise direction. For some reason, I always paddle around this pond counterclockwise. Maybe because that gets me to the wilder side of the pond more quickly.

I found a bullhead lily (Nuphar lutea) still in bloom.

Bullhead Lily (Nuphar lutea)

Bullhead Lily (Nuphar lutea)


And several fragrant water lilies (Nymphaea odorata).
Fragrant Water Lily (Nymphaea odorata)

Fragrant Water Lily (Nymphaea odorata)


I soon found myself at the north end of the pond where the leaves were beginning to redden. Autumn equinox indeed.
Paddling north

Paddling north


When I took the boat out I realized that I had failed to tie the grab loops onto the ends. In Virginia, that would have been illegal, and it may well be here as well. I should look into that. I’ll need to drill the tie holes out again, as I covered them with fiberglass during the repair. It will be easy to do – I just need to do it!