Along the Natchez Trace

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Walk Among the Wildflowers

Always, when we're back in Athens County, Ohio, I manage to get out on the bike path at least once.  Sometimes on my bicycle, sometimes to find a few of the multitude of geocaches hidden along the way, and almost always a walk with my good friend whom I worked with for 20 years.  She is also retired now, so has more flexibility as to when we walk.
When I lived here, the bike path was 17 miles long.  I know that it has been extended in both directions and may even have some spurs to other areas, but I don't know how many miles it is these days.  It's a "rails to trails" path...  not just for bicycles, but for walkers, runners, skateboarders, roller bladers.... anything except motorized vehicles.  There used to be evidence of the old railroad... whistle stop markers and the like.  They may still be there, but I didn't see any today.

We're back a bit early to the area, and what a treat this has been.  Old railroad beds frequently have plants growing along side that aren't found in other places.   This particular area was a narrow dirt road that used to end at an electric power substation.  I first learned about it when my field biology classes took trips out there to learn the local wild flowers and such.  Since most of the flat lands along the river were farmed, sometimes we'd find a singing field for woodcock.  We'd use a tape recorder of the male call to attract other males...  invading their territory, you know.

Later, each spring I'd head out there to see what was blooming.  While I didn't see the Dutchmen Breeches, Squirrel Corn or Wild Ginger, I saw plenty of trillium...
A close up of this lovely spring flower...
When the white blossoms start to turn pink you know it's past its prime.  A few warm days and this group will be gone for another year.

There were lots of patches of Blue-eyed Mary

And quite a lot of Mertensia, or Virginia Bluebells

I was admiring how nice the sides of the path were in bloom with wild geranium, the bluebells and such...  thinking how the predominant color today was blue.  

About that time, much to my astonishment, a tractor with a big mower on the back came along...
Somehow it just didn't seem right to be mowing down those lovely wildflowers.

But there are still hillsides covered with color...
And rock formations, and second growth trees.  

On one side of the path is the Hocking River as well as some woods and fields.  There are small creeks which feed into the river or flow away from it....
This area is next to a large dairy farm.  Usually the aroma of Eau de Manure is in the air...  today I didn't notice.

My friend and I walk for one hour....  we haven't seen each other in months so have a lot to catch up on, but she's patient when I want to stop and snap a photo...
I know this isn't a great shot, but I really like it...  looks kind of like a watercolor...  but most of, is the embodiment of what most of us think of when we think "spring".

It was in the 50's when I walked this morning...  at 4:30 pm it's 67 degrees.  A great day to be out and about...  and walking with an old friend on old, familiar territory.

That's All For Today!


  1. Trillium brings back memories of Western Pennsylvania and the first days of trout season. Also, the may apples. Your posts always seem to bring back old memories. And robins!! Don't get to see many of them around here. One year a few flew by on there way somewhere else.

  2. That is lousy timing on the mowing!! I worked at Texas DOT for thirty years, and I recall what a big deal they made of delaying mowing until the wildflowers had gone to seed. I'm glad that you got to see some flowers before they cut them down!

  3. I felt like I was on the walk with you. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Oops, sorry Sharon, it's me, Francine. I'm working in another gmail account, so hence the different ID. I'm lurking, I guess :)

  5. Gotta be loving this weather. And being out for a walk with an old friend.
    Love those Trilliums, (the provincial flower for Ontario) though have not seen them quite yet.

  6. Trillium brings back memories for me also. We used to have contests as to who could find the first bloomed trillium of spring, when I was a kid. We didn't pick them. I love your water color Robin and that mower, omg, shredding the flowers. Good thing you got photos before the mower came along.

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  8. Love your robin photo--haven't seen any robins yet as we meander north but I bet we have a yard full in Montana!