Posted on December 7, 2018
Recently we had an opportunity to spent a few days at Salt Fork State Park. It’s located in eastern part of the state and is Ohio’s largest state park at 17,000 acres encompassing a landscape of forested hills, open meadows, valleys, winding streams and a large serpentine lake. It’s a park that’s new to us with a name that is said to have been derived from a salt well located in its southwest corner that was used by Native Americans. Early December is not the busiest time and the park system was offering a senior discount in an effort to rectify that problem. With leaves mostly on the ground and their colors fading fast it is not the best time of year to experience nature’s beauty, but if one loves to hike and explore we thought “the deal” was too good to pass up.
A short afternoon hike after our arrival revealed that recent wet weather had resulted in trails that were wet, and in spots very muddy, but perhaps what was noticed most was that, with the exception of the call of a distant crow or a nearby chickadee, the woods were completely silent.
During our stay we had the opportunity to explore various trails and the playful sound of small streamlets could often be heard as they made their way down gullies and around moss-covered rocks.
Fortunately there were “wildflowers” to enjoy but not the kind one goes in search of in early spring woods.
Moss covered rocks and fallen cypress needles provided the most vivid color seen.
A longer hike took us by an old stone house on our way to Hosak’s cave and waterfall. The house was built by Benjamin Kennedy, an early settler to the region, around 1840. With the exception of the lake the surrounding landscape probably looks a lot like it did then.
The morning of our departure we were greeted by two inches of fresh snow. In the stillness it was magical.
The lodge, all decorated for the holidays with the warm glow of fireplaces in cozy locations, was lovely. The food, be it breakfast, lunch, or diner, while not French cuisine, was reasonably priced and very good. The staff was very friendly and helpful.
At times nature’s beauty, found when not expected, speaks to us in a whisper.
Thanks for stopped by.
Category: Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Columbus, hiking in central ohio, Nature Photography, Ohio Nature, Salt Fork State Park, waterfalls Tagged: Bald Cypress, Crowded Parchment, Great Blue Heron, Ground Pholiota, Holly, Panasonic FZ200, Panasonic G3 14-45 mm lens, Red-orange Mycena, Turkey Tail
Posted on July 26, 2015
With the amount of rain we’ve had recently it seemed like a great time to visit Clear Creek Metro Park to see what fungi might be making an appearance. The park is unique, located about fifty miles southeast of Columbus in an area where the last glaciers stopped their southward advance. It’s 5,300 acres of woods, sandstone cliffs, ravines, and creeks are home to hemlocks, oaks, and hickory. As we left Columbus we were hoping to discover some things not seen closer to home.
It was still early when we arrived and everything was wet from a recent rain. The air was cool but the humidity was very high. Given these conditions, we were drenched in perspiration for most of our five mile hike, with glasses and viewfinders fogging up every time we attempted to take a photograph. On this particular day, it was the price of admission.
Interestingly, the first thing seen was lichen growing on the roof of a visitor information board not far from where we parked.
Leaving the lichen, we began a rather steep assent into the woods and immediately started seeing fungi. This continued throughout our hike of the Creekside Meadows, Fern, and Cemetery Ridge trails. Seeing so many unfamiliar fungi, the challenge soon became one of trying to figure out we were looking at.
As if all the fungi were not enough, wildflowers were also making their presence known.
. . . and while not flowers, pretty nonetheless.
Given that flowers and many other plants were in abundance, butterflies and moths were easy to spot.
While not our main objective, we did hear a lot of birds and even managed to see a few.
At the end of our hike, we were in awe of the things seen. Many were first’s for us in Ohio. It had been a magical day.
Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Clear Creek Metro Park, fungus, nature, outdoors, photography, Wild flowers Tagged: Apricot Jelly, Berkeley's Polypore, Boletes Family, British Soldier Lichen, Brown Thrasher, Chanterelles, Coral Mushroom, Crowded Parchment, Downey Rattlesnake-plantain, Downey Skullcap, Eastern Wood Pewee, False Coral, Great Spangled Fruitillary, Hooded Warbler, Hummingbird Moth, Jellied False Coral, Lepiota, Oswego Tea, Panasonic FZ200, Panther Mushroom, Pink Polypore, Pipevine Swallowtail, Powder-cap Amanita, Red-belted Polypore, Rosy Russula, Spiderwort, Starry Campion, Tufted Collybia, Tufted Titmouse, Turkey Tail, Woodland Sunflower
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