It was a cloudy day, almost cold and damp. Still was no reason to stay home another day. A drive on Eagle Mountain sounded like the best option.
The water level was much lower in the creek than I expected after all the recent rains.
Tree reflections became the most obvious feature of the hike.
Multi-levels added depth.
Wind and more water movement became more abstract.
Tall trees created smaller reflections
and varying compositions.
More sky dominated … or framed the interior “picture.”
Can’t you almost hear the peace?
This was the view up the creek
where we turned around and started back.
I knew it was going to be a good outing when almost-adult bald eagle flew right over the truck. Adult eagles are 4-5 years old before they get their white head and tail. This eagle had a few brown feathers in its tail. I was so excited, I didn’t check its head.
The woods at Stone Face definitely changed since our last trip. It was so green.
Recent rains left a cheerful creek.
Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema atrorubens) bloomed among all the greens.
The colors and lines of the hood created an artistic design.
Mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum) grew in large patches.
Only the plants with two leaves bloom.
The flower blooms under the umbrella of leaves.
Knowing that gemmed satyrs aren’t a tolerant butterfly, I had to stay where I was and zoom in for this picture.
After such a pleasant hike, we had one more surprise on the way home … a wild turkey walked across the road and into a field.
Buffy and I hiked through the ravine on my rural property. More plants bloomed than I expected — which still wasn’t much with the lingering winter weather.
We hiked along the creek on the way back to the trail. Again, the sky was a mix of clouds and sunshine.
All the pictures were taken with my facing the sun. The camera did what it chose with varying results.
I learned when I got the pictures in the computer that water has a sense of humor. The following pictures were cropped from the various pictures.
A partly sunny day called for a hike at my rural property.
The color of this stink bug made it stand out.
A few blooming spring beauties (Claytonia virginica) were a pleasant surprise.
Water still ran in the creek from recent rains.
I cannot not photograph running water and all the patterns it creates.
Only a few bluebell (Mertensia virginica) plants were above the leaf litter.
Common chickweed (Stellaria media) grew in patches.
Nothing boring about this water picture.
Corydalis (Corydalis flavula) was the only yellow bloomer of the day.
Spring cress (Cardamine bulbosa) was the most common bloomer of the day.
This ground beetle was unexpected this early.
The grass in the barrens looked unusual — the 20+ inch snowfall matted down the dried grass blades.
Every hike along this small creek varies from the recent weather, the weather of the day and probably from my mood too.
Small creeks hold just as much enjoyment and intrigue as larger ones.
Rippling water created constantly changing patterns of light and shadow.
This creek has more than its share of petrified wood for some reason. Petrified wood always fascinates me that wood became stone through a loooong process.
Green algae made quite a contrast with drab colors of winter.
I just paused and took it all in before
going in closer to photograph falling water
and ice formations.
As you can tell, movement of light and shadows fascinate me.
As do bubbles. It’s hard to tell in this picture, but each bubble I photograph had my reflection on it.
A thin layer of clear ice covered a shallow pool off to the side of the creek.
It’s obvious why artists use nature for inspiration.
If I had to run into a snake, I’d prefer this snow snake draped over a tree branch.
Our planned snow hike turned out to be in a mixture of drizzle and slush falling from the trees. The temperature rose earlier this morning than I expected.
Buffy and I had a nice hike anyway. Water sang a happy tune as it tumbled along the creek. We didn’t see another human. And I saw my first snake of the year.
Last fall Buffy and I hiked south in the ravine up to the Shawnee National Forest land that borders mine. There’s a rock wall that I’ve visited so many times over the years and wondered why it’s there everytime.
With the angle of the sun, I went on to the south end and started back from there. Back in the 60′s a man built a small cabin at this end – which was illegal because this is National Forest land. He took part of the rocks at the upper end of the wall and made a tall elaborate fire place. I refuse to put it in the pictures. The cabin was gone before I started hiking here.
The wall was constructed with large sandstone rocks. It measures roughly 200 feet long.
A few rocks fell over in this section.
Here the creek altered its course over time and part of the wall collapsed into it.
What was it’s purpose? When was it built?
The hills slope dramatically down to form a narrow ravine. The steep hills slope to both of the creek’s sides just up from here.
Obviously, the wall wouldn’t have been used to corral animals. I’ve never been able to think of a single use for it.
We started walking back north.
One thing I know for certain –
the wall didn’t build itself.
Yesterday was too beautiful of a day to stay in. Buffy insisted on a hike up on Eagle Mountain.
How could I refuse?
It was such a calm, relaxed day, and the creek “played” a varied tune.
We climbed part way up the steep hill, found a comfortable rock and just sat,
side by side.
And we sat …
before returning to the truck.
These are a few of the reasons I like ice and water.
Reflections make pretty pictures.
Patterns in ice create interesting designs of light and shadow.
This ice curiosity formed in a cavity not 3 inches across.
Tumbling water rolled over on itself, trapped air and bubbles resulted.
Rippling water cast yellow-rimmed shadows on the rocks below.
Add the sound of running water to all this, and it explains why I’m drawn to rocky creeks.