Monday, September 12, 2011

Two Trips to Hemlock Falls

Quite possibly the most magical spot in all of Mohican, is the privately held Hemlock Falls. It is a part of the Mohican Outdoor School, and not generally available to the public. Yesterday, it was our good fortune to get 2 trips to the falls.
The falls were in good form, as a "hail" of a thunderstorm had crashed through, just prior to our visit. In case you might wonder, there are Hemlocks growing way high up there- at the head of the falls.

The rock formations are quite extensive, and unlike anything we mid-Ohio flat-landers are used to encountering. One must decide whether to climb through the rock formation, or take the trail around. I did both, a different way each trip.

The Mohican Native Plant Society was studying ferns at this location, and Greater Mohican Audubon Society joined in for the fun.

Steve McKee gleefully taught the class, and said we should call him if we ever find this plant- Crested Fern, Dryopteris cristata in our region. Call him, even if it is at 3:00 am in the morning. He wants to know! Better yet, wait till 6:00 am and give his poor wife Deb a break.

We had a likely candidate along a stream side, but it turned out to be a rather robust Spinulose Woodfern. It still counts though, because it was a Woodfern Workshop after all. This region of Mohican is filled with ferns, compared to just 50 mile west- where Ohio becomes fern challenged.

This is not the fern group. First hint: they are looking up.

Our second trip was by twilight, and the birders listen carefully for the Pine Warbler and Brown Creeper.

A Spicebush leaf was opened to reveal a Spicebush caterpillar; the sharp-eye Leslie Cornet found it along the trail. After a few snapshots- we tucked him back in for the night.

A lot of adventure for one day- but with Greater Mohican Audubon - that's how we roll!

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