This morning dawned bright and sunny, with very coolish temperatures and a brisk wind. Shortly after noon, taking advantage of the good weather, my daughter, granddaughter and I hopped in the truck and headed to Woolly Hollow State Park, located about 50 miles north of here. I hadn't been to Woolly Hollow in years, and found the site much improved from my last visit. In fact, it wasn't even a state park when I last visited, having achieved that status only in 1973.
Woolley Hollow got its name from William Riley Woolly, who moved to this Faulkner County location in 1851. He homesteaded some acreage, and while the original family home has not survived, the one room cabin built in 1882 by W.R.'s son, Martin, has been moved (about 1 mile from its original site) to the park, and has been restored. I can't imagine raising a family in this small building, but it was probably considered a very nice home in its day.
Daughter and granddaughter on porch of Woolly Cabin
There's a nice split-rail fence around the "front yard" of the cabin (not original, I'm sure) that lends to the overall ambience of the site.
In looking around the park, we saw several trees that, at first, we thought had huge fungi growing on them. Closer examination revealed that the white, bulgy stuff is some sort of wound dressing, put on the trees where good sized branches have been torn off. It looks like expandable foam insulation, but I don't really know what it actually is.
Most of the trees on the park site are Oaks, and I noticed more change in color in them than in the Oaks in my neighborhood, which are showing hardly any color at all. That may change quickly, however, since it's supposed to get quite cool tonight. The bright yellow foliage below caught my eye. I don't know why just one branch of a tree will change color and the rest stay green.
As I wrote above, there was a brisk wind this afternoon, and these scarlet leaves fell from a tree almost at my feet. There are still green leaves attached to the same small branch. It's a wonderment. Aren't they beautiful?
The park surrounds a 40-acre lake, Lake Bennett, named for the first director of the Soil Conservation Service. The dam creating the lake was built by the WPA and CCC in 1935. The lake provides swimming and fishing, and there are kayaks and paddle boats available. Power boats are not allowed. The photo below shows the fishing pier and a long, narrow dock where the paddle boats are tethered. When I took this shot, a woman and two boys were walking between the boats.
My not-quite-four-year-old granddaughter loves to fish, and her mama brought along a small fishing pole and a few worms. She didn't get even a nibble, however, although (carefully watched by Mama) she did get the bobber wet.
The shallow upper end of the lake was sporting some colorful trees which provided a frame for my photo of what I call "diamonds on the water," which were caused by the aforementioned brisk breeze.
The more protected edge of the lake was full of weedy growth, which provided some nice reflections, I thought.
I got to breathe a lot of fresh air and (as Abraham Lincoln said on one of his blogs today) "dance on sunshine." Following an active child around for a couple of hours was more exercise than I've had in a while. I should sleep well tonight.
Just about time to head for home. I got a couple of parting shots looking across the lake toward the earthen dam. It's really a pretty place this time of year, and I'll bet it's pretty in the spring, too. Another excursion may be in order.