Thursday, October 30, 2014

10-30-2014 Mitchell's Grove Nature Preserve

Today's Walker's Club hike went to Mitchell's Grove Nature Preserve.  This is located not far from Starved Rock State Park.  We met in the Lodge's Lobby and carpooled, as there  are not many parking spots.  Today we had 33 hikers. We hike in a Nature Preserve twice a year.  Once in the late fall and the other in the winter.  There are really no trails and there are many brushy areas that are very much like you would imagine a Nature Preserve would be.  (Not really hikeable in the summer time).

Map of Mitchell's Grove

Lots and lots of Oak trees on the path

Many bird houses on the lead in trail

Milk weed pod

What a great day for a hike!
Tomahawk Creek

Yes! there was Sandstone

Tomahawk Creek

Today we had a couple from Korea with us.

Man made dam in the distance

Once we went down to the creek area, we had to hike out

I thought I would be able to identify this if I looked it up.  I think it is a Swamp White Oak but not really sure.
A few dried plants
More dried plants
We started our hike with the sun out and gradually the sun went behind the clouds.  It was a great day to go to the Nature Preserve.  I love seeing different parts of the area I live in.  It has been a few years since the club has gone to this particular Nature Preserve as there are many to choose from.  Great Day!  Great Hike!  

I will leave you with this: Wherever you may hike or walk, just put one foot in front of the other.  It's all about the experience not the destination.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Oct. 16, 2014 Wildcat, LaSalle Canyons

 Today's Walker's club left the Lodge at 9:00a.m. heading out on the Campanulla Trail to Wildcat Canyon.  On the bluff trail, down 155 steps to the river trail and to LaSalle Canyon.  From there we came back on the river trail, into Wildcat Canyon, up to Eagles Cliff and Lover's Leap and back to the Lodge about 12:00p.m.  Great Colors!  Great Day for a hike!  Enjoy!

22 hikers
Started the hike with some great color!

Top of Wildcat Canyon

Everyone was taking photos of color today!

Wildcat Canyon from the East overlook


Sandstone Point

Some large pleasure crafts heading south for the Winter

Break is over, time to get a move on...


155 steps, going down....

Fall Colors  from the LaSalle Canyon bridge
Great Blue Heron, near the LaSalle Canyon Bridge

LaSalle Canyon- Yes that is a waterfall!

LaSalle Canyon

LaSalle Canyon

LaSalle Canyon from behind the waterfall

LaSalle Canyon from behind the waterfall.  I forgot my umbrella this time.

Wasp nest over the stream in LaSalle Canyon
Steps in LaSalle Canyon

Yellow flower coming out of LaSalle Canyon

I looked this one up and think it is the Possumhaw. Never heard of it before.

While the fresh green leaves and smooth, light gray stems are enough to make possumhaw holly an attractive shrub, the appeal of this plant is more evident in late fall. Bunches of small berries form along the branches and turn bright red as the leaves fall off. Only female plants bear fruit (plant at least one male plant for best berry production), which finally becomes palatable to wildlife in the early spring. Possumhaw tends to sucker from the roots, so it's best to allow it to form a multitrunk screen.
Noteworthy Characteristics:  Bright red berries in fall and winter. U.S. native.

Heron along the river in flight

Yes ladies, we are going that far.  That would be Eagles Cliff in the distance.

Wildcat Canyon

Wildcat Canyon

View from Eagles Cliff.  I still say this is the best view in the park!
Lock and Dam from Eagles Cliff

View of Starved Rock from Lover's Leap

Still enjoying our Pelican friends
Time to RETURN to work (behind a desk and in front of a computer)
 It was a great day for a hike.  The rain I think has finally stopped. The colors are almost peaked.  I think a few more days with some sun and we will be brilliant.  Glad I got to experience it today.

I will leave you with this: Wherever you may hike or walk, just put one foot in front of the other.  It's all about the experience not the destination.