I hike. On one of my favorite walks, along the Buckeye Trail in Hinckley Reservation, the path skirts the edge of a field adjacent to woods. Usually there is a cairn (man-made pile of rocks) there. For the first 6 months, the cairn was unchanging, but then – it had been knocked down. I was sad.
The rocks remained.
I don’t remember if we started to rebuild the cairn, or if someone else did. But it did reappear. Now we and other unseen hikers add rocks and sometimes wood or nutshells. My perspective about the tumbled carin changed and I look forward to see the latest configuration. Here is a recent one:
Cairn in Hinckley
Speaking of perspective, when I step back – waaay back – here is what it really looks like.
Cairn in Hinckley
Rosemarie Hanus makes beads, but not rock cairns in her home studio. See these beads at Etsy, Art Fire, or her Spawn of Flame website.
There are many ledges in Northeast Ohio thanks to ancient glaciers. They pushed rocks along as they moved; when they melted, the rocks remained. We took advantage of freakish warm weather here in our January winter and hiked the local Top O Ledges, part of Hinckley Reservation.
The Ice Stopped Here
The dog was quite happy. He has spied… something.
I Spy with My Little Eyes
Here is another gratuitous ledge photo.
Overlooking a Ledge
Recently revisited a trail that we haven’t been on in years. It’s in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and is in the Oak Hill Day Use area. The inner trail is an easy trail, only 1.8 miles and an elevation change of 50 feet. It interweaves with another, more difficult trail called the Plateau Trail (4.9 miles, 200 feet elevation change.)
We did a little of both. Our first loop on the Plateau Trail took us to Meadowedge Pond. You can see where the pond used to end – where the tall grasses are. Somebody (beavers, likely) built a new little dam, extending the pond a little. You can see just a little of the dam in the lower right corner of the photo.
Meadowedge Pond, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
Although it is not a challenging trail, it has many beautiful passages – such as this little footbridge over a tiny ravine.
Footbridge on the Oak Hill Trail, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
Check out this fallen tree – suspended in the air.
I am looking forward to going back and exploring more of the Plateau loops.
I haven’t seen very many Jack-in-the-Pulpits yet this year, but her are a couple. The first one, seen in late April, was on the small side- only about 6 inches high, but beautiful anyway.
Now, in the second week of May, there are more! There are two in the picture below. Can you find them both?
Seen in Hinckley Reservation.
I think that the trillium is one of our more showy wildflowers here in Northeast Ohio. On a recent hike in Hinckley Reservation, there were parts of the trail where there were blooming trillium as far as I could see in the deep woods.
There were many different kinds; I am only able to differentiate them by color. White is the most common here.
When the white ones are near the end of their blooming time, they turn a pretty pink.
Trillium Turning Pink
There were just a tiny few of some creamy green ones, but my photos just look white, so you will just have to image those. Check out these vivid red ones though! Wow. This isn’t a Photoshop trick.
From the Wikipedia, “trillium was treated in the family Trilliaceae or Trillium family, a part of the Liliales or Lily order. The AGP II treats Trilliaceae as a synonym of the family Melanthiaceae.” I’m not sure what that means. Is it a lily or not?
Some interesting fact I saw while researching these plants – ants spread the seeds of trillium. Also – the large white trillium is the official wildflower of Ohio.
Here are the elusive Squirrel Corn that we found in Hinckley Reservation. The flowers resemble a kernel of corn. I find these along with the Dutchman’s Breeches; these were in a lowland area in deep woods, by a creek.
I love our local plants!
Dutchman’s Breeches and Squirrel Corn are both wildflowers that can be seen here in Northeast Ohio. I don’t know if is where we hike, but I more often see the Dutchman’s Breeches. Here are some, seen in Hinckley Reservation. (of course!)
The Dutchman’s Breeches, with a little imagination look like little pairs of pants – upside down with the legs pointing up, but still pants (or breeches). My Grandfather used to say it “britches”… like “hold on to your britches”, ummm, but that is quite the tangent isn’t it? Aren’t they adorable?
Up next – Squirrel Corn.
Well, the theme around here this week is looking back over the photos from last year. These were from November, 2010 – the leaves had already fallen, everything was ready for winter. The day itself was crisply cold, but the sun was out and keeping us warm.
This trail is a section of the Hinkley Hills Loop Trail that I wrote about recently. In contrast to that rugged area, this portion is very flat and meanders through meadows and the edge of the woods.
There were numerous crab apple trees with their vivid red fruits. They sure stand out from the surrounding gray branches.
Paul and Spike Inspecting a Crab Apple Tree
Check out the thorns on this Hawthorn tree. I just read that the Hawthorn is part of the rose family – do all roses have thorns? Hmmm…
Hawthorn Tree Thorn
While sorting photos, I found some shots of one of our many hikes in Hinckley Reservation. last summer. We have walked there often in the last couple of years, and late last spring we discovered how nice it was to walk the bridle trails. We frequently encounter the horses and always get the dogs well off to the side and make them sit.
One time, after the they passed, the horses began to run. This made Spike very excited and she wanted to run after them. The remainder of the hike, she was very animated and was bouncing all over the place. It really tired her out and she was a little stiff the next day.
Here is a view of the Hinckley Hills Loop Trail near the Kiwanis trailhead.
Hinckley Hills Loop Trail
Quoting from the trail map:
This rugged trail crosses ravines and streams and follows sections of the Buckeye and bridle trails.
Yep – that describes it. It’s rugged, and the path is confusing sometimes. We got lost several times before we were familiar with the area. We have talked with several other hikers and they mentioned helping out lost hikers at times. It’s not “deep in the woods” lost, just “how in the world do I get back to where I started” lost.
Here is a photo of a bridle trail loop. I can’t remember the name, but it was *really* rugged.
Bridle Trail Loop
I remember being excited seeing the start of the leaves turning color.
Rosemarie Hanus melts glass to make beads in northeast Ohio. In her spare time she love to hike the local trails.
Here are some more flowers seen on our weekend hike in Hinckley Reservation.
These were all over the woods, in white, pale lavender and purple blue. At least I’m pretty sure that this is what they are. The leaves should have three lobes, but I never saw any leaves! Well, except for some leaves that were other plants; in the photo below, there are Trout Lily leaves (but no flowers yet).
Can someone help me out? Have I misidentified these?