OLD GROWTH TREES AND CAMPFIRE
Purple Headed Sneezeweed (all-time fave flower)
Yesterday I took a family that I have known for a very long time into the Big Basin area (old growth forest) of Allegany State Park. We had a wonderful time looking at the many old trees and then a few other unexpected treasures. We have an ongoing joke about how whenever I take them for a walk we somehow end up off trail and “sort of” get lost! I couldn’t let them down this year so everywhere we hiked “it was” off trail!!
B – was our Navigator and used the GPS to get us back to our cars!
We first went to see the large Maple so that we could ooo and aaa over! Then we headed out to the heart of the old-growth with the very large White Ash, Black Cherry, Cucumber Magnolia, Basswood, Yellow Birch, Black Birch, Eastern Hemlock, White Pine and many other amazing trees. First unexpected find was this very large orange mushroom. I am no mushroom expert but looked like a decaying Chicken of the Woods. Slugs were surely enjoying it!
M and the Garter Snake she found.
The best was when M (can you believe this lucky kid works at the buffalo zoo?) found a Garter Snake as we were leaving the Old Growth area. I first picked it up and of course it pooed on me! I was all grossed out (I can still smell it on me now) . . . . happily I handed it over to M to handle. We had a few times “everyone” thought I was lost!! But, I knew exactly where we were!
Campfire after a great hike into the Big Basin Area
After the hike . . . . we headed back to their campsite to enjoy a fun campfire. Close to dusk we had 3 Eastern Screech Owls vocalizing around their campsite and I “tried” to get them to come in closer! I wasn’t successful but we did have fun trying! Thanks for a great day guys and we need to do this again!
Sparklers to celebrate the end to a fun day!