I headed back to the old rock quarry again this past weekend. It is really a scary place, but I tried not to think about that as I walked through the canyon. Plus, I had people and dogs with me making plenty of noise just in case bears were hanging out some place in the shadows.

The walls of the old rock quarry are high and would be perfect for rock climbing, but I don’t do that sort of thing any more. In fact, I never did! So what am I saying. . . . Once we were at the back of the canyon, I realize just how alone we were and how difficult it would be to escape if some wild animal showed up. I called Cocoa and heard my voice echo back to me. There was only one way in and one way out! But it was a beautiful area.

Hiking back out I realized one of the reasons that I’m attracted to this area is because it is so natural and wild. But I know this was not the case years ago with the quarry was in full swing. Today it’s landscape is quickly filling up with short needle pine trees, moss, and plenty of other vegetation that reminds me of the landscape of Panola Mountain State Park.

A new pine cone.

We were almost back out of the canyon area when we noticed these two impressions in the tall grass. They were freshly made and it was obvious that something very large had been laying down here. About this time, a friend reminded me that we have panthers and mountain lions in the area. Looking down at Cocoa and realizing that she was not paying attention to anything other than the local sniffs, I chose not to worry.

Speaking of local sniffs: as we were leaving, we smelled something super sweet. It was the Kudzu and it was blooming and it smells like pure grape jelly!