Tuesday, August 8, 2017

High Flats State Forest - Part 1

I'd been so impressed with our recent hike in Whiskey Flats State Forest that one morning I decided to take the dogs to High Flats State Forest, not too far away. It was very wild and nothing was marked, but I found an all purpose trail and we started walking:

Unlike the pine covered Whiskey Flats, High Flats was mostly hardwood forest. It was lush and green and damp:

I was just thinking we wouldn't see any wildflowers at all when I came upon these Heal-All flowers. They appeared in nearly every spot on the trail where the sun could get through:

There was Fan Club Moss galore:

And brilliantly colored yellow mushrooms:

We broke out of the woods and into a meadow:

The dogs thought that was great fun, and Jack ran full speed, back and forth:

Abutting the meadow was a marsh, probably a former beaver pond although I never saw a dam:

I did however see the creek which was the overflow for the marsh. It ran from under the trail and out through the forest, gurgling and bubbling:

The dogs drank from the creek and then we continued on our way:

We came to some private land and turned around, taking a side trail. According to the state map, we should be heading for Close Pond. Alas, I discovered that we'd passed Close Pond on our way in and the state map bore little resemblance to reality:

Fergus and Jack trotted along:

In another open spot, I saw Bull Thistles in full bloom, making me glad I'd cut down the ones in my fields before they blossomed:

This one confused me, but I finally decided it was regular Spotted Knapweed - just very healthy, lovely specimens:

There was more Wild Ginger than I've ever seen anywhere, but since it blooms in April, I still haven't seen their odd flowers. One of these days I'll be in the right place at the right time. But we were just getting started on our adventure, and there was much more to see. I'll post Part 2 tomorrow:

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