Friday, January 1, 2016

First Day Hike

In what is becoming a tradition now that we are 'Pineys', we went on the annual First Day Hike in the New Jersey Pinelands, this year in the Pygmy Pines of Stafford Forge WMA.

You can see why they are called "pygmy pines" ...

... these two lovely ladies are standing next to a full grown adult tree. Look closely and you can see the pine cones. The size is clearly an evolutionary adaptation, perhaps to fire, but no one knows for sure.

Our hike today was a short one, wandering out ...

... and back the sand roads.

We had not expected to see much in the way of flowers, it being January and all. But we did find Broom Crowberry in bloom.

A couple of months early. It has been a very warm December, we had spring peepers calling on christmas morning! Crazy. Although in was in the 30's (Fahrenheit) for our hike today.  As crowberry is a northern plant, this is the at the southern limit of its range, it should survive any coming cold spells. But many other things are blooming throughout the area, and may not survive a hard frost.

We finished the morning with a variety of goodies, solid and liquid, including these peppermint chocolate chip cookies made with cricket flour.

They were yummy and paired quite nicely with champagne. And yes, cricket flour is exactly what you think it is. A very good source of protein.

It was a very nice way to begin 2016.

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