We've enjoyed some fabulous fall hikes this past week...below is a photo history of some of the great nature scenes we've experienced and a few of our hiking friends too. Hope you all are getting out and enjoying as well.
Douglas Woods Nature Preserve:
Poison Ivy in its fall colors...always some of the best. Don't pick these for your press though...
Witch Hazel (Hamamelis) - Such a beautiful understory shrub/rarely small tree. The leaves and bark are used to make an antiseptic/astringent. The flowers, fruits and next year's leaf buds all appear on the branch simultaneously - an interesting and rare feature for deciduous shrubs.
Large feather - raptor? We found quite a few of these actually.
Hiking friends -
Robb Hidden Canyon Nature Preserve:
Common Milkweed slowly releasing its seeds.
Staghorn Sumac - this sumac is hairy on the stem and seeds and is not poisonous. Poison Sumac prefers wet soils in wetlands while other nonpoisonous sumacs, such as staghorn, prefer relatively dry soils. This is one of our most favorite shrubs and is planted here at Coffeetree Bottoms.
Miami County Friend's Homestead:
Prior to our day of hiking, we enjoyed some time dining al fresco with homemade bread, soup and eggs from our friend's chickens. Can't get much better than that...
Seven Pillars Nature Preserve:
As soon as we hit the trail, we stumbled across a flock of Indiana winter birds: white-crowned sparrows, white-throated sparrows and dark-eyed juncos. These were our first-of-season sightings.
Seven Pillars is a beautiful preserve with 3 streams flowing through. This area has cultural and spiritual significance to the Miami Indians.
Pawpaw a.k.a. Indiana Banana:
Gooseberry growing in a cherry tree...wow.
Interesting beech bark...
Beechdrops - A parasitic plant on beech trees.
A recent rain brough out some awesome fungus...
Steve, Tim and Savannah...
We often cut across the farm ground to the south of our house to hike Arrowhead Marsh. We feel grateful to live so close to a natural area. Pictured - Virginia Creeper berries sporting brilliant fall colors.
Dead Man's fingers fungus -
Big trees...can't ever get enough.
Wooly Bear caterpillar seeking a winter hibernation site. This pretty caterpillar turns into an Isabella Moth.
Me - watching a flock of Yellow-rumped warblers.
Heading back home...