Friday, February 21, 2014

A Secret Garden








Our first trail ended here as coyote tracks lead to their home perhaps.


Do you see a face?
 Finding any glimpse of green during the winter is fun. This Falling Fern keeps color all year and is prominent in this tiny valley, but only found in  a few select areas of the state. When spring returns it graces the slopes with a vivid green that is enjoyable as one climbs through twisted trees and steep limestone cliffs. It is always a challenge to ascend to the back where a giant cave reigns over the forest. Ravines are filled with smaller caves to explore, and during the cold months harbor less spiders and bugs eager to taste you. We followed a coyote trail for the first part, but it veered up a steep ravine , and with two small dogs best to leave alone. We made those first footprints in the snow as I often like to do. A slight melt followed by a heavy snow left unseen hazards of slippery ice to deal with. I was unable to ascend up most of the slopes so stayed within the creek bed until we could no longer get pass the hazards. The dogs jumped up the sides of the hill, but could not get any farther than where they leapt straight up a rock face. I found a tree to sit on and smiled as I absorbed the beauty around me and breathed in the icy air. It made me feel so young as I thought of some fun memories of coming to this area for many years, yet hidden from many who have lived so close.  On a far ridge sits a cemetery that dates back to the early 1800's. Here seeds were first harvested to expand a prairie area and build another beauty from the tiny prairie remnant left next to it. This area is now 750 acres of prairie and woodland and stands for a dream to let others see what this land looked like before agriculture took away all of the natural beauty. There is magic to be found in this valley, within my secret garden.



10 comments:

  1. these are beautiful pictures and remind me of how poetic snow landscapes are (even though these days, I am really chicken about the cold.) Thanks for the lovely share.

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  2. You come across such interesting things on your journeys. I did see a very jolly face.

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  3. What a fun place to explore. Your hiking partners sure do enjoy themselves out there

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  4. It's surprising how many secluded natural areas you can find. they may be small but they're there. It would be much nicer to see larger patches and some that aren't fragmented.

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  5. Secret garden are very special. Mine usually involved a "honey hole" on a trout stream...;)

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  6. Love the woodpecker -- and seeing any green this time of year is a treasure. :)

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  7. Saw the face! :)) It's snowing outside as I type -- the other day it was like spring. But fuss as I might, there's something magical about a winter landscape. Oh, about old cemeteries -- a friend said she saw an old tombstone in Arizona that said: I told you I was sick.

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  8. Look at the Fern! Cool shots Steve!
    hughugs

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Keep it positive and informative,I enjoy hearing from you!