Thursday, September 14, 2017

Matthiessen State Park, around the lake Sept 14, 2017

Did someone say "Fall"?

 Today's Walker's Club we met in the Lodge's Lobby and carpooled to Matthiessen State Park the fort area.  We hiked the Upper Dells area and around the Matthiessen Lake.  41 hikers today no dogs.  Before leaving I announced that we will have a short meeting for anyone who would like to attend on Sept. 28th after the weekly hike.   I would like to brainstorm on how we can develop the Overflow parking trail an interpretive trail.   Meeting will be in the Cafe. 

Fort area right off the parking lot

The pavilion got a new roof! 


All 41 coming down

It looks like a trail..... It's not.

Matthiessen Lake Falls Bridge.  Did someone say Fall?

Hornet's nest near the Lake shelter

Boat house near Matthiessen Lake

"Shaggy" Saw a couple of these.

Indian Pipe

Name that feather.....

This old truck always generates some interesting comments in the group


Turn to the Horse Campground

Thistle

Horse camping

Great Blue Lobelia

We had to cross a few creeks, not much water

Great Blue Lobelia

This small downed tree made our hike interesting


Lots of mushrooms today



Back at the bridge by the Lake.  Are you ready for Fall?


Little waterfall at Lake Falls


Waterfall at the Giant's Bathtub

Lots of roots exposed today

Lower upper dells

All stepping stones out of the water today. 
I will leave you with this: Each day I am thankful for nights that turn into mornings, Friends that turned into family, Dreams that turned into reality, and like that turned into love.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Illinois & Michigan Canal 09-07-2017

Today's walker's club went to the Illinois Michigan Canal.  There were 42 walkers, 1 rider (in a stroller) and 4 dogs. We drove to the parking lot by the school in Utica and walked to Split Rock (1/2 way to LaSalle) and then walked back.  Today was a gorgeous day to be on the Canal.

Leaving Utica

Painted Lady butterfly



Red Spotted Purple Admiral Butterfly (I think)

Lots of Milkweed plants today. Great for the Monarch Butterfly.  Wait for it.....


1 1/2 miles to the half way point. Then we turn around and go back.   Nice flat walk today.
Jewelweed or Touch me not.

Pokeweed.  Very colorful stems.  Berries are not edible.

Pecumsaugan creek flows under the Illinois and Michigan Canal

Half way point.  Sit if you wish and go no further.  But if you don't touch the sandstone wall further up the trail, your walk doesn't count.

North half of the Split Rock, on the other side of the Canal

Yes, I touched the wall to make it count

Nice flock of Pelicans taking a break in the backwaters of the Illinois River before continuing their migration South. 





Turkey Vultures taking advantage of a sunny spot.


Wild Morning Glories

Elderberries



Here is the Monarch Butterfly you waited for.  I followed this one for quite awhile before I got a half way decent photo. Enjoy!

In the Sunflower family.  I tried to look it up and found about 10 types. 

Almost back to Utica .4 miles


Not sure of this one.  Evening Primrose maybe.

All about the Canal


The Lodge is getting a facelift.  A little sanding and lots of paint.  Should look brand new by the end of the week.

Work in progress..... New windows?  The new windows were installed earlier in the year.  The blue is the taping around the windows to keep the paint off the windows.
I will leave you with this: No one else can speak the words on your lips. Drench yourself in words unspoken.  Live your life with arms wide open. Today is where your book begins. The rest is still unwritten.