October 18, 2012

Reed Run Nature Preserve Hike

The weather was just perfect for hiking, so we headed out to a perennial local favorite, the Reed Run Nature Preserve, part of the Lancaster County Conservancy.  The trailhead is former farmland that is being managed on a transition back to native woodland.  I had my macro lens handy, and captured this shot of a Canadian thistle seed pod:
A portion of the farmland is being used for experimental chestnut plantings in association with the American Chestnut Foundation,  as part of the quest to breed a blight resistant American chestnut. There are other saplings and young trees mixed in the plantings, such as this hawthorn, with ripe fruits and impressively wicked looking thorns.
Approaching the mature woodlands, we spotted a log covered in small button mushrooms.
In the bottomland the trail follows the meanderings of Reed Run, a small  gurgling stream, lined with patches of pawpaw trees.
Several years ago I made an art quilt about Reed Run, using pawpaw leaves for the imagery.  It remains one of my personal favorites.  It’s very textural, with silk, wool, and cotton that are heavily stitched, and it’s embellished with beads and semi-precious stones that reference clouds and the streambed.  It’s a quiet and tranquil piece.
The trail winds up the hill, and a turn reveals the Balance Rock.
I love its shape and semi-precarious perch.
In 2006 I made a small piece, Balance, that I felt remained very true to the experience of the granite in the the late season sunlight.
A bit further uphill, and the trail reaches an unnamed overlook, marked by twin pines.
It’s a good spot to pause and enjoy the view out over the Susquehanna River.  I was eating an apple when I spotted this:
I didn’t have time to change to a telephoto lens, but I hope you can still tell that it’s a bald eagle!  I’ve been hanging out around the river my entire life, but this was my first eagle spotting.  It was swooping to and fro, presumable scanning for fish, and the white head and tail were unmistakable.  I was just thrilled to see this evidence of their comeback that I’ve been reading about.
I switched back to the macro lens  to capture something considerable smaller and more earthbound:
Switching over the the Conestoga Trail, we headed to another favorite spot, the House Rock overlook.  I never get tired of this view, captured here with a fisheye lens:
The View from House Rock has also served as inspiration:
I hope that wherever you might find yourself, you have a chance to get outside and experience the world around you .  Thanks for reading and commenting.


Franki Kohler said...

What an incredible hike! Thanks for sharing that. And for making clear where several of your quilts 'came from.'

Amy Art Quilter & Fyber Cafe said...

Beautiful hike, wish I was there, I've heard of paw paw trees, have you ever eaten their fruit? I love the balance rock wall hanging

Sue Reno said...

Thanks Franki! All of my work is linked to my environment, it's the artist's version of the writer's credo "write what you know". Amy, I have been fortunate enough to find ripe pawpaws in the woods a few times (though not on this hike). They are absolutely delicious, with a smooth creamy texture.

Vivien Zepf said...

So glad I've finally gotten the time to read this post and see the hike you took that was the backdrop to your lovely new profile pic. Excellent!