Posts Tagged ‘Eagle Mountain’

A New Snake

My truck took me for a drive to check the Eagle Mountain Road — They had actually worked on it! I still wasn’t sure if I could drive the whole road yet. (My husband and I found out later that the road is downright dangerous!)

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Anyway, there in the road was this brown snake. I didn’t remember seeing one like it before. It stayed frozen in place, even after I drove off. I’m waiting for my oldest son to identify it for me.

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Keith saw my pictures and said it was an eastern hognose. It had apparently just shed. A small patch of the old skin remained on the side just behind the head. What had me confused was its lack of pattern.

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Finally, Eagle Mountain

My husband got tired of hearing me complain about not being able to drive up on Eagle Mountain.

It’s been months since a heavy rain washed deep gullies in the road going up the hill onto the mountain. It took 4-wheel drive to get up the first hill. He had to navigate several hair-raising washouts in the three miles to reach the creek.

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It was the middle of the afternoon. Buffy took off like she was visiting an old friend and didn’t want to miss a thing.

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The sun occasionally peeked through the clouds.

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We followed the creek, instead of heading up the hill to explore.

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The word “steep” came to mind.

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I was so relieved to see the Christmas fern still growing on this large rock in the creek. It’s grown there for at least four years. Water from heavy rains sometimes reach heights that can go over the rock.

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I took one last reflection picture before we headed back to the truck.

The drive back across the mountain seemed worse than on the way in.

So, I won’t be going up there again until the road’s fixed.

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  I can combine memories of past hikes with what I’d like to experience to create an outing whenever I feel the need for one

 … until Buffy and I can hike on Eagle Mountain again.

Eagle Mountain

I’ve waited and waited for a sunny day so I could take a picture of the range of hills called Eagle Mountain. Today I finally gave up and took several pictures anyway. The arrow points to roughly to where the road starts up, and the road continues on past the right edge of the picture a little ways.

It’s a sad time now where Eagle Mountain’s concerned.

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A strong thunderstorm early last summer washed out deep gullies in the road up the first hill. There is the option of going in from the opposite end of the road, which is 30 miles from here. The county doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to fix the road. Of course, I don’t blame them with all the use it gets from ATVs, off-road mudding trucks, etc. The road is roughly four miles long, — four adventurous up-and-down miles, according to the weather. The land is a mixture of private and Shawnee National Forest land. Turkey and deer hunters flock in during the hunting seasons.

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So, at this time, all I have are memories and files of pictures.

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Buffy’s look, “What’s taking you so long?

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This is a wet-weather creek, meaning the creek can be dry, shallow as above, or so high and fast there’s no crossing it.

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The creek narrows as the elevation gradually increases.

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Ripples create yellow-rimmed shadows.

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Ripples in the ice create the yellow designs and the shadows in between.

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Trees growing along the creek need a strong extensive root system. Heavy rains result in high, fast-moving water.

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Mosses and lichens are quite common on the rocky slopes.

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Yellow ochre results from the iron designs in some of the rocks.

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Obviously, there’s red ochre too.

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This was a fresh spring morning, with birds singing.

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Obviously, this was a beautiful fall day.

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This hill is around the corner in the third picture in this blog. It’s steep, rocky slope makes it difficult to climb up from any direction.

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One time Buffy and I went up to the bluff, then to the left and found these rock designs, called liesagang bands. There were so many that it was a momentous occasion, which I blogged:

 https://naturesnippets.com/2012/05/28/liesegang-bands/

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And … the walk back toward the truck.

More Amazing!!! Ice

Welcome back for the second part of mine and Buffy’s hike on Eagle Mountain.

Areas of the creek were dry where the water dropped underground, and other areas had running water.

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 Ice only remained in this shaded 25-30 foot area.

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Areas had multi-layered ice, and others had a thin sheet of it.

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I hope you enjoyed the second part of your vicarious hike.

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I have to give Buffy credit for staying off the ice, so I could capture all this beauty.

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Here’s the link to my first ice blog:

https://naturesnippets.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=8109&action=edit

Amazing!!! Ice

An ice storm we had was one thing; the ice in the creek on Eagle Mountain was completely different … and so enjoyable

and fascinating.

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All the pictures in this blog and the one I plan to post Wednesday came from this 25-30 foot section of the creek.

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This section was the only part of the creek with a north-facing slope to shade it.

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Hope you enjoyed your vicarious hike.

Hope to see you again Wednesday for the rest of our hike.

Script Lichen

Eagle Mountain

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Buffy found plenty to keep herself busy on our hike along the creek on Eagle Mountain this morning.

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After “oohing” and “aahing” over the water and ice,

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I turned my attention to the lichens.

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The word miniscule was putting it mildly.

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 Pencil lines would be slightly wider than the lichen’s “lines.”

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 It grew on several  ironwood trees (Carpinus caroliniana) growing along the creek.

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 I was finally able to identify these online as a “script lichen”  (Graphis scripta).

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.