Friday, March 23, 2012

March 23, 2012 - Sportsman Lake and Cullman Wildflower Garden

This Friday we spent in and around Cullman and finished off the list of needed items for future hiking/backpacking trips. After the shopping we stopped at Sportsman Lake Park to take pictures of flowers and stretch our legs on the paved walking trail. Sportsman Lake is one of those spots that I've been going to since I was born. More of a gigantic pond than an actual lake, it's where everybody in Cullman County goes to feed bread to the ducks and the king-size catfish. There's an aging putt-putt golf course that time forgot and a scaled-down train that runs in the summer. One of the newer additions to the park is the paved walking/biking trail that circles the entire lake. It's a little over a mile and a half (according to my tracklog) and was a welcome change to slogging through the wet grass like we used to do when I was a kid. Unfortunately, it looks like the paddle boats are gone for good. Okay, the wife informs me the dock was replaced and they are still in operation.

The Cullman Wildflower Garden is located on the property and Esther and I snapped a few pics.

Taken with artsy-shmartsy phone app
I actually knew the names of a handful of the flowers. Those that I can't remember, I've made up.

African death blossom (or not)

Star anise

Also star anise
Star anise deserves a special mention. You've heard of Tamiflu, yes? Well, you're looking at the natural source of the main ingredient. In fact, you can still get the benefits of taking the medication by using the seeds from the plant. The same ingredient (shikimic acid) is also found in sweetgum and forsythia.

Purple phacelia



Klingon death sticker (probably not)

Some kind of honeysuckle

Square flower

A pink spider-wort

Okay, this deserves some mention. All the spider-wort I've ever seen  is a dark, deep purple or at least a faded to dark blue. What would cause this plant to be pink? The truth is a little alarming.

Ooogaaboogaa flower (maybe)

Another kind of honeysuckle - imported

After the walk we grabbed a bite to eat at Backyard Burgers.

This picture was not my idea

All the other pictures can be viewed by clicking RIGHT HERE.
And here's the tracklog of the ramble around the lake.

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