North Carolina county #84 Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center
My last spot for this 3 day trip was Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center in Johnston County. Howell Woods seems to be owned and operated by Johnston Community College, and as you hike the property there are several areas where benches are setup in an outdoor classroom configuration. It is roughly 2,800 acres and if you visit their website you can see that they specifically target birdwatching as one of the activities to use the property for. They actively manage it – in fact I could see some logging trucks going down one road – and therefore there is a variety of habitats and flora.
You are supposed to check in at the main office when you go there, but there was no one there so I just signed the log book. Some of the trails were closed because there was an active hunt going on – they clearly marked the trails that were off-limits.
I saw only common birds and didn’t stay more than an hour or so. There was actually a lot of mosquitos around the area, which seems unusual for mid-October to me. In one area they had outdoor cages for birds of prey.
I’ve run across this before and mostly just feel sorry for the birds. At least in this case, one can hope there are students learning from this who will go on to careers that will aid in conservation.
This is hopefully the last trip that I will have to use my backup camera for. As I was getting ready to pack my camera up to ship to Canon for repairs, I figured I would try it one more time. Amazingly, it just worked like nothing had happened. It has continued to work with no issues for a couple of days now. My only guess is some moisture got inside which now dried off. I will bring my backup camera on trips for a while to make sure all is well but I am glad I will have the camera for my final overnight trip upcoming this week.