Posts Tagged ‘bluff’

Therese, This One’s for You

Buffy and Therese sat on top of the bluff, surrounded on three sides by a horseshoe-shaped lake.

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 The “road” in is an old railroad bed, with a steep hill on the north and a wetland with a creek running through it on the south.

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This was the first view when we reached the pond.

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A redbud tree bloomed at the base of the bluff, and the water lilies were starting to fill in areas of the lake.

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This shows where we started the climb up to the top. The slope seemed steeper than it looks when we climbed it.

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We often saw a pair of turkey vultures perched on the rocks to the right of the redbud tree.

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Obviously, we didn’t get near the edge of the bluff.

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A horseshoe-shaped outcropping paralleled the bluff.

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The whole area was beautiful during every season, especially in the spring when the wildflowers bloomed.

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It wasn’t a place to take young kids.


Therese, I hope you enjoyed your hike.


A Ladybug

Ladybugs overwinter as adults.


My first ladybug of the year just happened to be on a purple trillium in my spring wildflower garden.

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It must be either the pine or the hackberry tree that’s dropping all the pollen.


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Ladybugs overwinter as adults. Here’s a picture I took March of 2012 in the bluff at Stone Face. This definitely wasn’t anywhere near all of them!

The Grandmother Tree


One of my tree friends, the Grandmother Tree, one of my tree friends, was still standing January 2011 and went down during a strong storm later that the year.

She grew on my rural property, near the creek and in view from “my rock” seat at the top of a short bluff. During many, many camping trips, I saw her in all seasons, different kinds of weather, different times of the day and under full moons.

Davis (my youngest son, now 34 years old) and I did a night hike one winter evening when he was in 4th grade. We laid with our heads near her trunk. The limbs made her look like a giant spider standing over us.

 One time  a raccoon tail hung out the hole on the side near the top. I would sit and lean against her and watch/listen to the water running in the creek just feet away.

It’s been nice to sit here and “walk” back through memories of the Grandmother Tree.

Eagle Mountain

Our afternoon temperature reached 16 degrees. Buffy and I just had to get out of the house.

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Naturally, for a short outing, we went to Ingram Hill for a loop walk and for the long view. The distant line of hills is what I call Eagle Mountain.  Of course, one hill is called Cave Hill (the one on the left). One is William’s Hill Tower, and another Womble Mountain. The road is named Eagle Mountain road.

There is a cave at Cave Hill on Shawnee National Forest land. I’ve never seen or been in it — I don’t do caves. It’s been closed to the public for several years now.

The hill line continues to the south (right) and a little more to the northeast. There are hills on this and the other side of the ridge line too, which makes for scenic views. The view to the west stretches over flat land that was glaciated. The glacier made it to the middle of our county. South of here and across southern Illinois is hilly, with a many state and federal recreational sites.

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It’s five miles from Ingram Hill, as the crow flies, to where the road starts up the mountain. The almost three-mile road twice goes to lower elevation. It crosses a narrow water course the first time. The second time it goes down, it crosses the creek where Buffy and I hike. The road starts below the left side of the bluff line in the picture. There is a deep ravine between the road and the bluff.

Oh, what a view …  and what memories to walk back through during the extremes of this winter.

Stone Masonry part 3

This is the last of three blogs about a short bluff on Eagle Mountain where Buffy and I often hike. Iron in the rock resulted in these dramatic designs, and the designs are called liesegang banding.

What an imagination Nature had when it came to this short bluff, and then having the assistance and willingness from the elements who completed these projects.

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All the pictures from these 3 blogs (except landscape ones)  came from this bluff.

IMG_4260 red altI didn’t notice the profile face until just now when placing the picture in the blog. It definitely has an alien look about it.

IMG_4261 red altThe talent involved in the “carving” of this bluff …

IMG_4276 red altthe variety,

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and even a modified heart shape.

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Anyone home?

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The hike along this bluff was most of the dramatic hikes I’ve had in I don’t know how long. It was rugged. It was exciting. It was breathtaking, and it was strenuous.

Next time I plan to hike here, I’ll be sure to have Wheaties for breakfast!

Stone Masonary part 2

This is the second of three blogs on this hike.

Nature’s elements sure had a vivid imagination when it came to the designs in the rocks of a short bluff on Eagle Mountain.

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The hike up the steep hill to this short bluff was more than strenuous.

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This picture shows steepest part of the slope.

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The yellowish sandstone above lacks the iron of the patterned sandstone below.

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There were so many combinations in the lines,

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  bending and folding,

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  repetitions in the layering,

IMG_4252 red altand a diversity in cavity shapes.

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Why was there so much more layering, instead of solid shapes?

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This one was sure a curiosity.

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I just don’t understand what could cause such a diversity of designs. It was faster erosion of the regular sandstone and the slower erosion of the sandstone with the iron. Still there had to be a force that created the original layering before the start of the erosion.

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… crafted by the elements of nature.

I was way more than impressed (and highly excited). Impressed enough that it will take 3 blogs to show off all their intricate work.

As my followers know, Buffy and I often hike up a creek on Eagle Mountain.

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The creek narrowed the higher we went. At one point it made a sharp bend, and was much narrower up from there on up. The rocky slope on the right side rose dramatically, which is one reason I’d never hiked up to this short narrow bluff. If you look on the left side of the picture, you can get an indication of the slope.

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It was worth the climb! Iron in the sandstone created the patterns. These are called liesegang bands.

A lot of creativity when into these.

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Each unique,

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  innovative,IMG_4229 red alt

and inspiring.IMG_4241 red altThe word awe came to mind.

I will post more pictures of these banded rocks in the second blog on Saturday and the third Sunday.