August 6, 2008

A Brief Respite

Summer is short. I took a day off from a too-busy schedule to go hiking in my beloved River Hills in southern Lancaster County, on properties preserved and maintained by The Lancaster County Conservancy. The pictures barely begin to convey the serenity and beauty of the experience.

We first walked a rugged, rocky ravine trail that winds along a clear, fast moving stream. The trail crosses the stream in several places--a good excuse to splash around-- and there are a few swimming holes, one where you can sit in a waterfall for a stimulating experience. Parts of the trail are bordered by extensive stands of towering native rhododendrons:

The main bloom is finished for the year, but we spotted a few late flowers:

No matter how many times I hike this trail, there's always something new to discover--a fungus, a rare native plant, a water strider:

This time I found a gorgeous caterpillar. I've looked through several guides, and haven't been able to ID it yet. If you know what it is, please leave me a comment:

At the end of the trail we took a short drive to another of my favorite places, Pinnacle Point, with a grand view overlooking the Susquehanna River. Last year I used a photo from here to make View From Pinnacle Point:

Here's the detail shot:

Summer is short. I hope you get a chance to get out there and enjoy it.

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