Sunday, January 24, 2016

Walking and 'Squatchin' at Gore Landing

It really is beautiful here in north central Florida, despite the lack of mountains.  Pam and I talked about going for a hike at Gore Landing here in the Ocala National Forest in Florida.

Our day started off like most days, with Penelope the Puppy deciding that Ruby slept long enough and she had to wake up and play.

It's a good thing for Penelope that Ruby loves her.

 After lunch it was off to Gore's Landing.  It is winter here and many of the trees have lost their leaves, but the saw Palmettos were as green and lush as ever.

We found multiple instances where trees were stripped of a bit of bark about seven feet off the ground.  I posted this in a Sasquatch Facebook group I belong to.  If not a Sasquatch, it could be bear, or perhaps damage from logging trucks passing by.  I ruled out the logging trucks because if this national forest had been logged, it showed absolutely no signs of it.

The trees damaged were only the long leaf pine, and the trees appeared to be healthy.  I doubt any animal was after grubs.  It looked like whatever it was ate the bark, as there was no bark droppings on the ground.

The word Adirondacks of upstate New York is derived from the Iroquois word ratirontaks, which means "they eat bark" or "they eat trees".  It was thought by white men that the Iroquois used the word as a derisive word for the Abenaki tribe.  What if they actually meant Sasquatch?  

This is, I believe, a partial track of a wild hog.

We finally arrive at the Ocklawaha River.  A good camping spot!

Pam decides to hang her camping hammock.

It fits, is comfortable, and has a bug screen build in.

I try it.  Not bad.

I believe these are wild hog tracks. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

More tree damage.

Pam and I have never "wood knocked". Whacking a tree to attract the attention of a Sasquatch seemed odd. There were too many other signs anyway and we didn't need wood knocks.
But now we're in Florida. Searching for evidence is a whole new ballgame here. In New York, finding tree bend trail markers is easy. All of the northern trees are straight and a tree bend is obvious. Not so in Florida where the trees grow in all directions. There is little undergrowth in the forests Pam and I explore in New York. Florida forests have dense palmetto palm undergrowth.
We were walking down a dirt road today and I found a fairly hefty palmetto branch in the road. I picked it up, sized it up as being a good tree whacker, and proceeded to hit the tree. Knock... knock knock... knock. After only five seconds or so, we got a single knock answer. I looked at Pam and she looked at me... Did you hear that? Yep.
I knocked three more times. Three more times, I got a knock as an answer.
There may be hope for us Yankees searching for Sasquatch in Florida after all.

1 comment:

  1. Doesn't look like any hog tracks I've seen. Not in Louisiana anyway.