Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hiking Along Hannacroix Creek - Part 2

I was hiking along Hannacroix Creek just south of Albany with my four youngest dogs. The day was fairly warm but spring was so delayed this year that I despaired of seeing any greenery. But there among the fallen oak leaves I began spotting Trout Lilies emerging. Trout Lily, Erythronium americanum, which is also sometimes called Fawn Lily, Adder's Tongue or Dog's Tooth Violet. Their tiny yellow blossoms are one of the surest and most beloved signs of spring. I can hardly wait to see more of them:

But the dogs cared nothing for emerging wildflowers. Smelling the aromas of animals which had passed by ahead of us was their big thing. And movement. They love the sense of progressing through the woods with legs pumping and all their senses awake and alive. Come to think of it, so do I:

The trail followed Hannacroix Creek for quite a while, but since the dogs had already had their opportunity to splash in it, we stayed up where it was dry and the walking was smooth and easy:

Just up ahead I spotted the remnants of an old stone foundation built right on the riverbank:

It was the remains of an old paper mill:

And on we hiked, with the dogs adventuring up into the forested hills:

Seamus was all smiles as he paused with Daphne, his little Papillon buddy:

And then we arrived at the beautiful falls. There is a narrow rocky ridge which leads out to this overview and the dogs ran on ahead while I snapped this picture. But I sensed that they were up to no good so quickly pocketed my camera and hurried on up ahead to see what they were doing. I found a small pile of shoes and jackets and lunches - and yes, Daphne and Clover had managed to break into a lunch and eat half a sandwich. I saw two young barefoot ladies down on the rocks below and tried to call to them to explain and apologize. But the roar of the falls prevented them from hearing me:

So I returned to the trail and continued on my way, feeling quite guilty for the transgressions of my two puppies and for not telling the girls about it. I could have climbed down the rocks to where they were but considered that would have been an even bigger disruption of their idyllic outing than what had already transpired. So we just kept on hiking:

The forested hills were lovely but I saw no more signs of emerging vegetation. I'll continue the story tomorrow:

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