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Late Dusk Hike at Radnor Lake: Swamp Seating

March 31st, 2008 · No Comments · deer, Radnor Lake

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

got close to a pair of deer in the South Cove area of Nashville's Radnor Lake

I very nearly blew off today’s hike at Radnor Lake. My early afternoon was a little rough; I really felt like withdrawing from the world and getting lost in a book. I started to read a bit, and the next thing I knew it was around 4:15pm and I was waking up from an impromptu nap.

Fortunately, when my head cleared a bit, reconsideration of the previously-intentioned dusk hike ensued, and the healthy choice was made.

a bird photographed at Nashville's Radnor Lake

My hike started at exactly 6pm as I left my car in the nearby church parking lot (formerly Otter Creek property). I came close to using Radnor Lake’s Granny White parking lot, but I knew there was an excellent chance that I’d not want to end my hike before the gates to the parking lot were due to close (at “dark”). It was very nice extending my hike beyond early dusk without having to concern myself with the whereabouts or fate of my car. (Thus far I have managed to avoid the dreaded tow, as well as the anger-inducing lock-in. 🙂 )

Land Between the Lakes

I did an extended South Cove double-back** hike today; rather than turning around at the bottom of what I refer to as Hill Two, I continued on to the land between the lakes area: the area between Radnor Lake proper and the large swamp, where we often see deer in the water eating aquatic plants in the summer when the water is warm. (When approaching the lake on Otter Creek Road from opposite direction — the east, the Franklin Road side — then the swamp is the body of water on the left as you reach the lake.)

deer running away from me in the South Cove area of Nashville's Radnor Lake

Rather than turning around at the bottom of Hill Two and immediately doubling back to the Granny White parking lot via the South Cove trail (as I usually do), I decided to take my time, have a seat on the edge of the road, and write in my journal a little bit, letting dusk overtake me and see what happens. This pause turned out to be a good opportunity to do a little meditating as well as some people-watching.

I truly enjoyed this little addition to my standard South Cove “double-back” hike; I think I will do this more often. For one thing, I’m sure to see more wildlife — and possibly meet more Radnor Lake enthusiasts — than if I turn around earlier, as usual. I’m not one to initiate a lot of conversation with random passers-by, but perhaps some more outgoing and/or curious walkers will pause to ask me what I’m reading; we shall see.

Adding this extra bit to my daily routine would put me in this area somewhere just before sunset (in early April, around 6:45 to 7:30pm or so). Since I have not seen anyone else sitting down here (there are no benches; most people don’t care to plop down on the asphalt), should you see a bald man sitting on the edge of the road gazing out over the swamp or writing in a journal, it will probably be yours truly.

I would be truly amazed if someone stopped to say hello and told me they had read this post — and therefore thought the fellow sitting there might be me. So, if you see me sitting there on the edge of the road, please be sure to introduce yourself!

<h3>The Deer Count</h3>

The deer count for this evening’s Radnor Lake hike — subtracting for deer that I probably saw on my return trip — was 17. Not too shabby! In fact, that is one of my highest deer counts for such a short period of time. (I believe Kelly Stewart counted 24 deer on a single hike a couple of months ago.)

Notes: South Cove Double-Back

**  The hike which I call the “South Cove double-back” is this:

Starting at the Granny White parking lot, I walk up Otter Creek Road and take a right onto the South Cove trail, opposite the lake. This trail immediately forks; I go straight, staying on the South Cove trail, which leads uphill (“Hill 1”) to the top of the ridge and toward the east. After a fairly short walk up on the ridge comes the steep walk back down to near lake level. To squeeze more exercise into less time, I turn around when I get to the bottom of the big hill (“Hill 2”) and double back, returning to the Granny White parking lot the way I came.

This, dear reader, is how I came up with the incredibly creative name of “South Cove double-back” for this particular jaunt. 🙂

(Turning left at the fork would have put me on the South Lake trail: not strenuous enough!)

The South Cove trail includes one of the (only) two relatively strenuous portions of the Radnor Lake trail system. For a complete map of the Radnor Lake trails, please see the latest Google Radnor map.

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