Clifton Gorge Celebrates Spring
A couple of times a year, usually in the spring and fall we get together with friends for a hike from Clifton to Yellow Springs and back. Yellow Springs turns out to be a great place for lunch with a number of excellent small restaurants and delis. The hike wanders through Clifton Gorge Nature Preserve, John Bryan State Park, and finally Glen Helen Nature Preserve allowing us to enjoy a truly unique Ohio landscape. In the spring the quantity and diversity of wildflowers is truly amazing. The hike usually adds up to about ten miles so it necessitates compromises in the camera equipment we use. No heavy DSLR bird cameras here. However, should you choose to bring more serious equipment or just not feel up to a long hike, there are many shorter options that still allow one to enjoy the natural beauty.
Leaving Clifton the hike starts out overlooking a narrow stretch of the Little Miami River.
Clifton Gorge Nature Preserve
In the spring numerous small streams feed the Little Miami.
By no means the narrowest portion of the gorge it does give one an idea of what it is like.
Continuing to follow the river it wasn’t long before we saw our first trillium.
Large-flowered Trillium with a hint of pink.
A nice group.
They covered the hillside, Clifton Gorge Nature Preserve.
In the mix there were other trilliums to enjoy.
Another view, (Donna).
Drooping Trillium. Also known as Bent Trillium.
There were also “non-flower” things to see.
This Redback salamander was crossing the road so we decided to place him in a safer location. This salamander can actually be one of two colors: “redback” or “leadback.” In its redback phase it has a reddish stripe that runs down its back from the base of its head to the tail. Found throughout Ohio, it is most often seen in early spring beneath rocks and logs, especially in floodplains. It is entirely land-dwelling and usually will not go to water even to breed. Ref: ODNR.
Morel Mushroom, (Donna).
As we made our way downstream the river started to widen.
The Little Miami
. . . and then pool before becoming a river once again.
There was never a place where we couldn’t see a wildflower.
Large-flowered Bellwort was everywhere.
A closer look.
There wasn’t always a bridge when we needed one. Fortunately on this particular day the river level wasn’t too high.
In John Bryant SP.
Green was still mostly restricted to the forest floor, Glen Helen Nature Preserve.
View from the bridge over the falls on Yellow Springs Creek, Glen Helen Nature Preserve.
A stream feeds Yellow Springs Creek.
Just when you thought you’ve seen all the flowers . . .
Rue Anemone, (Donna)
Squirrel Corn, It’s roots are yellow tubers that somewhat resemble kernals of corn. This fact, along with squirrels digging it up for food, gave rise to the name. (taken from Wildflowers of Ohio by Robert L Henn)
Squirrel Corn, a closer look, (Donna).
Wild Ginger, (Donna). The root stalks have a ginger scent and taste. American settlers boiled the root stalks with sugar to make candy. Not the same as the true Ginger spice which is derived from a tropical plant. (taken from Wildflowers of Ohio -Robert L. Henn
Blue Phlox or Wild Sweet William, (Donna).
Wild Geranium was just coming along! Also known as Crane’s Bill. (Donna).
Golden Ragwort, (Donna).
Marsh Marigold, (Donna).
Yellow Trout Lilies, (Donna)
Surrounded by Chickweed the trout lilies peek through, (Donna).
Getting down and dirty.
Early Meadow Rue, (Donna).
How many different wildflowers can you spot in this photo?
Spring Beauty, (Donna).
Sometimes we’re left feeling as though life’s magic is slipping away and there are no longer any miracles to celebrate. That’s when we might want to consider taking a walk in the spring woods.
Rue Anemone stands as a lone sentinel over the Little Miami.
Thanks for stopping by.
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