Because of the recent Eagle Scout project (see previous
post), this summer has witnessed more activity on the
nature trail than most summers. As I've noted before,
visiting the trail at various seasons yields notable
benefits, and sights that you otherwise might miss.
As I went about my preparations for the start of school
and new classes making fall visits to the trail, here are
some tidbits I happened upon.
|This is not a violet nor a periwinkle. I haven't yet pinned down its|
identity, but if I had not visited the trail in July, I would have missed
this summer lovely.
|Our notable "burgundy" Jack-in-the-Pulpit in its flowering phase|
in early July. It is fascinating at any time of year, but goes through
a spectrum of changes.
|Streamside horse-sugar has always been of interest to me, but I've|
never seen it with this leaf pattern. A prelude to fall changes.
|If poison ivy is away from the main trail, I leave it alone, since it's|
a native species. But this one was adjacent to the scout project,
and with a view to those with dangerous allergies, it had to go.
|Can you spot the sections of the snag?|
Not surprisingly, our stream is currently dry, which
allowed for some unique photos upstream and downstream.
|This view is upstream from the bridge.|
|Downstream from Big Rock|
|Upstream from Big Rock|
|Big Rock is easy to reach when the stream bed is dry. But if you|
try to climb on it, use extreme caution. It is deceptively steep and
slippery. Use both hands and non-slip shoes. and watch out for
the moss and lichens.
|View of Big Rock from the upstream stream bed.|
|The view of Old Man Poplar as you approach the new boardwalk.|
|Some majestic cinnamon ferns thrive at streamside.|
|Here's Jack-in-the-Pulpit again, flowers gone and berry clusters|
formed. Shortly, the leaves will all wither and the red berries will
be found all along sections of the trail.
One of my spruce-up tasks is to clean dirt and mildew
from the identifying signs along the trail. Here are a
few samples of how a little tender loving care bring
new life to these instructional aides.
|Before . . .|
|. . . after.|
|In extreme need of a bath.|
|Wow! Why didn't I think of this sooner?|
Let's close with another look -- or three looks --
at Old Man Poplar. If you don't think it's leaning more
each year, here's some photo proof.
Note that the wooden plaque is already
leaning more than when it was level
three years ago.
In 2013, a year before I placed a
sign on it, the tree was leaning less.
This was in 2010. Can you imagine
a troop of Boy Scouts kneeling on it?
And for comparison's sake, back to 2017.
Please, Old Man Poplar, don't be
in a hurry to leave us!