Along the Natchez Trace

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White....

Spring has arrived up here on the Ridge....  and also in town...

The cherry trees that were planted along the Hocking River...  and the Hock-Hocking Bike Path 25 years or so ago are in bloom....
These trees are kind of special to me.  Bill worked in the Physical Plant of Ohio University back then and after the trees were planted he spent a lot of time hauling water out keep them alive.  We can see where it looks like some have since been replaced as there is a short section where the trees aren't as mature.  That big white building on the right is the hospital where I worked for 20 years.  

Last week there were lights situated along this path, focusing on how beautiful they are at night as well as during the day.  I took these photos Sunday afternoon...  good thing, because the rains and wind came Monday and by today I'd be surprised if any blossoms are left at all.

I thought the rains might have brought out some mushrooms, so yesterday Bill & I took a hike across the road from us, which is part of Strouds Run State Park.
The terrain can be pretty rough at times...  I think the highest elevation is only around 900', but some of the hills are steep and rocky.  Spring is still emerging here...  most of the trees are leafless, and while there were some mayapples and other things growing on the forest floor, last years leaves could be quite slippery to walk on.

There were a few wildflowers blooming...
Some cranebills, spring beauties and pussy toes...
Saw some violets and various other plants, but not much of anything.  We heard the call of ovenbirds as well as the usual bluejays, titmice and such, but for the most part, it was quiet out there.

One interesting thing...  we'd walked about an hour and found a path that wasn't there the last time we walked on it.  But...  that has to be at least 15 years ago, and a lot happens in that time.  It was obviously a mountain bicycle path, but well kept up and easy to walk on.  We'd followed it a while and saw a couple of men walking towards us from the opposite direction.  As we got closer, we realized that they were grooming the path (on foot).  And what do you know?  One of them was Bill's old bicycling friend Jim Schulz.  I have no idea how many thousands of miles these guys biked together.... how many century runs...  how many Sunday rides.  So it took us a while to catch up on each other's lives.  What fun!

Bill and I never did find any morels...
These fungi are about all we found..
Maybe when it warms up a bit the sun will bring out the morels.  If so, we might head back and look again as those sure are tasty eatin'.

As we were walking down the road towards our place I couldn't help but look at the pine trees along the property line...
Bill planted all those trees on the left.
When he first planted them they were "babies".  At that time he put in a row of fast-growing poplars among the pines.  The poplars provided a buffer from the road traffic (yes, it's a township road, but the traffic noise and dust can be annoying) and when the pines got big enough to do the job he cut down the poplars.  It takes a lot of patience - and a long-term plan - to achieve the end results.

Just past those pines is the old farmhouse.  This is where Bill lived when I met him nearly 35 years ago.  We lived there about 10 years before we built our own place out back.  It's been rented all these years and now a young couple live there who treat it like their own.  They put in extensive gardens and live somewhat the way we did way back then.

Between the pines and that farmhouse is the driveway that leads back to the house we built, and also where Bill put in an RV pad before we started RVing in 2001.  The fruit trees he planted are in bloom...  The couple that rent the farmhouse will no doubt reap whatever harvest they produce.

That's just a wild plum tree in bloom, but it used to provide us with enough fruit to make lots of jelly which we sold at the farmer's market.  You can see just a tiny bit of the old chicken house on the right.  It hasn't housed chickens in 15 years, but is still a handy place to store mowers or other equipment.

We're parked in our usual spot...  two sides of us look out over the woods...
Out the back window of our rig..
The right side has a patio and the shed where we made maple syrup.  There's another apple tree there.  I hung a hummingbird feeder out but haven't had any takers yet.

To the front of us, maybe 100' or so is the house that we built and lived in for 10 years or so.
All the windows face the back as that's where the view is, so here in our RV site we (and those renters) have plenty of privacy.

This is the earliest we've been back in Ohio since we left in March, 2001, so we are really enjoying everything "spring".  

I just keep humming that song....  I'm not exactly Perez Prado and I can't play a horn like Eddie Calvert, but I sure do enjoy all the trees in bloom and springtime up here on the Ridge.

That's All For Today!


  1. AH, that brings back memories of when I lived in a place that actually had four seasons. I lived in western PA not too far from Ohio.

  2. Oh man, now you've got me yearning for some morels!

  3. It sure looks nice, back home again.

  4. How fun to go back to old haunts. Mushrooms in our area are just starting to be picked.

  5. Nice to be back to the old homestead, enjoy your time there and spring weather.

  6. Very nice "home" base. Welcome back to Ohio.

    Hope you didn't get too much snow last night. I think Mother Nature has forgotten it is spring. Here in Canton, we had snow last night. Amazing.

  7. We came back to beautiful warm weather last week in Niagara, but last night we saw snow flakes too. I almost turned around to head south again :)

  8. Thanks for the tour. Lovely property. Its good you have young renters that no doubt also keep an eye on your property. It's cherry blossom time in the UK. Starting to look really pretty.

  9. Beautiful property, We always look for morels in Montana but seldom have much luck!

  10. What a great walk down memory lane! Spring is certainly in the air.

  11. What a great walk down memory lane! Spring is certainly in the air.