April 12, 2010

Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area

We took advantage of picture-perfect spring weather on Sunday and explored the nearby Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area. It's a large property that includes a sizable lake, popular with migrating waterfowl, and a variety of terrains and environments. We started by climbing the Valley View trail, which delivered on its promise with this sterling view of the lake and neighboring farmlands. Below is a panoramic view; I'm experimenting with how well the panorama shot works on the blog.
Further exploring took us to a set of ruins, with this very cool springhouse that drains into a small rivulet:
And the foundation and chimney of a cabin. The masonry work is especially fine:

At the sides of the chimney, you can see impressions where the logs once sat, and the large hand-forged spikes used to hold them:
The rivulet joins up with a shallow but lively creek:
Along the way, as always, I kept my eyes peeled for interesting botanical subjects, including this blooming wild strawberry plant:

And a chestnut oak sapling with the leaves just emerging:

There were many large stands of mayapples just opening. All parts of this charming plant are poisonous, except for the "apples" which ripen in the fall, and even those can be toxic in large qualities. I've sampled them, and am glad for the experience, but had no desire to consume mass quantities.

Here's the more conventional kind of apple, a tree growing wild and blooming:

One of many groups of skunk cabbages growing in the the streams and boggy areas. I've done a quilt featuring a skunk cabbage leaf.
A nice vignette with a skunk cabbage leaf detail, and a violet at the bottom of the frame for scale:

Last but not least, a blooming marsh marigold:

It was a good long hike and an excellent day. I wish you the same.


Pat's Place said...

Thanks for the great photo/trip! It really was a great day, wasn't it?!

Gerrie said...

Brings back memories of walks in the woods in PA and NY.

teri said...

Wonderful. I need to go for a hike.

Vivien Zepf said...

Looks like a lovely hike.

Deborah said...

Beautiful photos! What a wonderful place!