Friday, September 14, 2012

Crater of Diamonds State Park

Our first full day in Arkansas, Lita and I headed to the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Our plan was to pan for diamonds and then go birding along the trails inside the park. On the way we stopped just once for a photo op along a lovely lake with a very pretty covered bridge. All pics taken with the iPhone 4s Hipstamatic and a few taken with the Nikon:

Lake with Covered Bridge

The Chief

It was 100° outside and when we arrived at the Crater of Diamonds State Park, we discovered that we had to dig at least a 5ft hole to have any luck at finding diamonds. Say what? Yea, that didn't happen. We both dug about a foot down before cleaning off our mud, finding some pretty rocks and chucking the whole adventure for lunch and a trek through the wooded trails. Still, it turned out to be a fabulous day and we enjoyed ever second of the experience!

Mining tools in hand, off we go to hunt for diamonds!

 All smiles because I'm not digging!

 Lita hard at work digging for diamonds

 No diamonds here!

Lita soaking and swishing her screen but all we both ended up finding were some pretty rocks!

The trail was suppose to follow a river, which due to the drought, was all dried up. We still enjoyed it and managed to spot the following birds: A pair of Summer Tanagers, a Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, lots of Carolina Chickadees, a Tufted Titmous and a Northern Cardinal. We did run into a creepy stalker guy that completely changed the air and mood of the forest. Before he showed up the birds were singing, the sun was shining and the air smelled sweet of pine. Once he came, the forest got quiet, dark and the air was super heavy and thick. We took it as a sign and hightailed it out of there!

We were greeted at the start of the trail by signs of Autumn!

 Along the trail we go!



Forest Pine


Mushrooms in White

Dappled Forest Light

We found some water! 


River View

 Nature's Art

Quiet Please!

During our outing to Crater of Diamonds State Park, we logged six species of birds: Summer Tanager, Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse and Northern Cardinal. That evening, back at the ranch we saw an American Crow and a Belted Kingfisher. Here are some pics of a few of the birds. Some not so great as I don't have a lens made for faraway, treetop dwelling birds that move like lightening (and it didn't help I forgot my external flash!), but thought I would share anyways. :)

Carolina Chickadee

 Hairy Woodpecker. These and the Downy Woodpecker look so much alike that the only way to tell them apart is the Hairy is slightly larger and has a longer bill. Luckily we captured both and could compare our photos to each other. This day, we caught the Hairy skirting around a tree.

 Summer Tanager, Male

Tufted Titmouse. This guy was curious about us but stayed pretty hidden, displaying a bit of shyness.

Belted Kingfisher. OMG. They are so cute.

Next up, a long, steep and rugged, strenuous hike along the Caddo Bend Trail in the Ouachita National Forest! 


Nichole Renee said...

What a great trip so far! Love the pics along your nature hike! (And glad you steered clear of the creepy guy!) Can't wait to see the next round of your adventures!

Luke A. Bunker said...

Love, love, love the pics and I think the stories are hilarious! Your getting the hell out of there on both situations cements why we get along so swell! :-) (P.S. no digging for me, either!)

Laura said...

Thanks so much! I'm hoping I can get the rest of the pics posted before Paris which is approaching way too fast! ;-)

Lita said...

<3 Fabulous and on point account of our day. I'm so happy and thankful you took the time to document everything so wonderfully, and I forgot about creepy guy, but so true how he 'darkened' the forest energy

Laura said...

I wish I could forget about creepy guy!LOL! Glad you are enjoying the blog posts!