If you have noticed all the wildflowers I post or put on Flickr, you probably have surmised that we don’t kill ourselves on hikes. Ron usually has me lead and set the pace and I’m constantly stopping to look under leaves for “little brown jugs”, Mayapple blooms, “Dutchman’s pipes, and other things hidden under new green foliage or under last year’s leaves. I see no reason to miss a thing at my age. I’ve walked past so many things in my rush to get things either over or behind me that I will never be able to find them all again.
Sunday’s Pink Lady’s-slipper Orchid find, and Monday’s Doll's-eyes, and Cross Vine are things very rare and few ever see them. I love to stop and smell the roses, honeysuckle, laurel, and rhododendron. Life is just too short to zip by, head held high, and overlooking the best and primary part of a nature hike. At my age, one needs to walk steadily, but with a sharp eye out for shapes and colors of wildflowers burned into memory from countless web pages and lots of books on the subject. (Click on all photos for larger images or go to Flickr)
We ventured about two and a half hours away on Monday to
Just about a mile from this arch, a sight I saw often as a child on the way to grandmothers, is Rock Island State Park. It is a beautiful little park with lots of trails, swimming, boating, and great waterfalls to view.
On the way into the park, you will pass the old Great Falls Cotton Mill, and its castle-like water-house.
Great Falls Cotton Mill was envisioned by early manufacturer, Asa Faulkner, and was built by the Great Falls Manufacturing Company that was chartered by Asa Faulkner, Jesse and H. L. Walling, and Clay Faulkner. The only textile mill built in
From the old cotton mill on, you will see waterfalls and the Great Falls Dam to your right. One of the largest is Great Falls, which is one of the best waterfalls in the state, and perhaps on the entire East Coast. The
There are four main hiking areas in the park, but we took a trail called “Moon Shine Trail” (moonshine to us locals). It is just ½ a mile long, but winds itself down into a valley filled with wildflowers and back out again. You will also pass an old cinder block foundation where a “still” once operated years ago. You have to look closely to see the site because of the dense undergrowth. The old block is covered in moss and it blends into the foliage perfectly.
I’m not sure where we’ll go next, but you can be sure my old Nikon will be there with me so you can enjoy it too!