Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Santamont Trail In Catherineville State Forest - Part 1

Our belatedly warm spring took a nosedive. Nighttime temperatures fell to near freezing, daytime temperatures never got out of the forties. It was cold, cloudy and windy. I wasn't in the mood to do much of anything, but I did take the dogs hiking. Catherineville (sometimes spelled "Catherinesville") State Forest is only 8 miles south of my house and we've been there before, but I never found any really good trails. This time I found the main trail, but only after mistakenly trying two incorrect trails:

This trail could have supported auto traffic and probably does so at times. But it was comfortable walking and the dogs were ecstatic:

This was cold, rocky country and spring was even more delayed here than at my house. Nevertheless, I did find Wild Strawberries in bloom:

And ferny fiddleheads unfurling:

We began in a hardwood forest with few leaves yet on the trees:

And progressed into a pine forest:

I kept seeing smallish, white Trilliums and wondered why the flowers were so small. Then I remembered that Painted Trilliums (white, with a red center) are nearly always smaller flowers than their purely white or red cousins:

Normally, both Papillons run up any rock such as this but they didn't this time. I wanted a photo, so I tried to coax them. Finally, I simply lifted Daphne up onto this glacial erratic with its "hair" of moss and baby trees. She wasn't sure she liked it, as you can read by the expression on her face:

There were lots of green plants on the ground as wildflowers were just emerging and the Princess Pines (clubmoss) were standing at full height:

A Princess Pine and a Painted Trillium, abundant plants which beautified our hike nearly everywhere we went:

Clover, Daphne and Jack left the trail to explore a rocky, mossy, trickling streamlet:

And Beech tree buds were beginning to open. I knew it wouldn't be long until the hardwood trees were clothed in green leaves. But there was a lot more to see on this trail, and I'll post Part 2 tomorrow:

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