Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Caddo Bend Trail at Lake Ouachita

On our second day in Arkansas, we headed out to Ouachita National Forest to hike the 4 mile Caddo Bend Trail around a portion of the lake. It was 104° and the last two miles was brutal due to a tornado the previous year removing most of the tree canopy. We definitely did not take enough water and I ended up with a touch of heat stroke at the end. Still, we managed to have a great time and the scenery was beautiful! It also gave us the most photographic opportunities which we snapped up with rabid delight!
Here are a LOT of images from that day, some taken with the iPhone 4s and some taken with the Nikon:
 At the Start of the Caddo Bend Trail. 
Lita, at home in nature.

This forest was filled with Red-headed Woodpeckers. We saw them several times throughout the day and were able to snag some not-so-bad shots of them:




We saw other creatures as well:

 Blending In

Little Dragon

Bee on Yellow

Giant Red-headed Centipede 

The whole trail wrapped around a section of Lake Ouachita so the views were stunning. We found a beach-like area that we climbed down to. I was sitting on a rock, just taking in the view, when something caught my eye. It was an uncut quartz crystal. Arkansas is famous for their crystal mining and I have mined there before with my niece Danielle. But this was better! It was like a gift from the universe. Best souvenir ever!

Happy Hiker

Scree

Pine Cones Over Lake Ouachita

After the short lakeside break, we headed back up to the highest point for some spectacular views and gorgeous flora and fauna:

Heading back up through the forest...

Branches over Bokeh

Forest Purples

Forest Grapes in Sunlight

Eastern Wood Pewee

Lake Ouachita Through the Trees


Islands of Lake Ouachita

Lita on one of the many fallen trees we had to navigate over due to a tornado a year earlier.


Wild Pea


Thistle with Polka-dotted Beetle


Rocky Outcrop


Locust Shell.
I used to pluck these off the trees in summer when I was a kid back in Kansas.

Posing Pooch

At the highest point on the Caddo Bend Trail

 View from the Top

Panoramic View

After taking in the view for a bit, we headed back down. At one point, we walked under a tree and heard a loud, startling noise. A huge bird took to flight...we scared him, he scared us! I was too in awe of the majestic size of him to grab my camera but Lita was able to snag some pics of him in flight and we were able later to identify him as a 2nd year Bald Eagle. Such an exciting moment to witness! I did manage to spot two other birds on the way down and it was a good way to end the day!

 Downy Woodpecker

Tufted Titmouse

Next up, our last day of hiking in Lake Catherine State Park! Stay tuned!







6 comments:

Dina J said...

What a beautiful place. Great shots on the redheads. We don't see them very often here in Florida.

Lita said...

What a wonderful collection of pics and ah, the sense of accomplishment to hike to the top :). It's cool to see how well all your bird pics turned out! I agree, that quartz crystal was the best souvenir :)

Catherine... said...

Hi Laura, fantastic photos...awesome seeing a bald eagle and all those other critters...Lucky girls...

Laura said...

Thanks girls! I loved all the interesting critters we saw. So fun!

Nichole Renee said...

What wonderful pictures and memories! You two really had a phenomenal trip!

phoebe said...

Wow those views are amazing!!!