Friday, April 29, 2016

LaSalle & Tonti Canyons 04-28-2016

Today we met in the Lobby of the Lodge and hiked out to LaSalle Canyon and back.  We stopped at upper Wildcat and walked into Tonti canyons.  Today we had 29 hikers.  Great hike, great waterfalls, great company.
Tonti Canyon

Great photo of the Red bud trees at the start of our hike.

Trailhead received a facelift with some mulch.  This was spread by a group of boy scouts a few weeks ago.  Thanks Boys /Guys!

Very few May apples are blooming.  We managed to find 3 on our hike today.

Jack in the Pulpits are blooming everywhere

Prairie Trillium still blooming, being overshadowed by the May Apples.

Upper Wildcat Canyon Waterfall - just the beginning

29 hikers just arriving at Wildcat Canyon from the Campanula Trail

View of Wildcat Canyon Waterfall from the East overlook

View from Sandstone Point

Walker's enjoying the view on Sandstone Point

Birds Foot Violet

Our friend "Mr. Burl"  A burl results from a tree undergoing some form of stress. It may be caused by an injury, virus or fungus. Most burls grow beneath the ground, attached to the roots as a type of malignancy that is generally not discovered until the tree dies or falls over. Such burls sometimes appear as groups of bulbous protrusions connected by a system of rope-like roots. Almost all burl wood is covered by bark, even if it is underground. Insect infestation and certain types of mold infestation are the most common causes of this condition.

Going down the 155 steps to meet the River Trail.

Fiddlehead fern - Fiddlehead ferns are one of the delicious telltale signs of spring. While there are a few varieties, the most edible and the one most commonly found in markets and on restaurant menus are ostrich ferns. These tightly wound, disc-shaped vegetables are the curled fronds of a young fern, that are harvested during spring before the frond has a chance to mature and uncurl.

Virginia Bluebells, Prairie Trillium and May Apples

White Nodding Trillium, one of my favorites.

Skunk Cabbage

Wild Geraniums and Blue Phlox


A bonus waterfall on the way into LaSalle Canyon

Squirrel Corn

LaSalle Canyon, looking good!

LaSalle Canyon up close.

Leaving LaSalle Canyon

Great photo of LaSalle Canyon

Was told this was Witches thumbprint, but couldn't find description online.

Tonti Canyon's West wall waterfall.

Swamp Buttercup

Walker's Club admiring both waterfalls

Moss covered sandstone coming out of Tonti Canyon

Interrupted fern, notice the darker "interrupted section"

Mouse eared chickweed

Raspberry's growing in an undisclosed location.  "yes it is on the trail"

Yellow Bellwort

View of Eagles Cliff from the River Trail

Columbine on the River Trail

Lousewort or also known Wood Betony

Shooting Stars when we were almost back from the hike.  These were on the bluff trail.

I love Shooting Stars

The brightest Shooting Star I've seen today.
Almost back to the Lodge, Upper French Canyon

Sorry, I tried to identify this plant, but I came up short.  Any takers?

One of the employees in the Cafe posts these wisdom bits every week. 
I will leave you with this: It's impossible to walk in the woods and be in a bad mood at the same time.


  1. Witches Thumbprint is more commonly known as Ladies Thumb or Smartweed.

    The mystery plant looks like American Columbo, and if it is, that makes it the first time I've heard of it in that part of Illinois. American Columbo is present in Cook County, but for the most part it's a southern Illinois plant. If this was on a dry wooded hillside, that would be ideal habitat. American Columbo is just a guess, however. I wouldn't bet money on it.

    1. I will keep an eye on the "Ladies Thumb plant" Not that I doubt you but when I google in most of the photos it has a more slender leaf and will have a pink slim flower later in the summer. We have it everywhere. I will keep an eye on it. Thanks.

      The "mystery plant" (American Columbo) I have seen it before in this same spot. It is not on a dry wooded hillside. It is growing out of the side of the top of French Canyon, where the two bridges are. There are many of them there by both of the bridges. Very damp. I will post progress on it, when we go by on future posts.

      Thanks again for your help.

  2. After further review, the mystery plant is in fact Swamp Saxifrage (Saxifraga pensylvanica) which is a plant of wetter woods.