Monday, September 29, 2014

Raven Cliff Falls

This past Friday my friend "hauled" me out of the house and into the woods.  She knew exactly what I needed.  I was supposed to work a few hours that day and only planned to go on a short hike but with "trickery" she managed to get me out to Ceaser's Head for a 2.2 mile hike to Raven Cliff Falls.  

Along the way we found some interesting things.  This is called Rattlesnake Plantain or Goodyera pubescens. The Indians used it to treat snake bites, burns and other ailments.  Rattlesnake Plantain is actually a terrestrial orchid and blooms in late summer with a white furry flower at the top of a long stalk.  

We found this beautiful caterpillar and I am having a hard time identifying it.  It may be a Fall Cankerworm.  This one has me "stumped".

This poor Polyphemus Moth was stepped on by someone earlier in the day.  Not a good day for this little fellow.

Asarabacca; Haselwort; Wild ginger
Harilik metspipar     Asarum europaeum
This plant is not edible but has a peppery like scent when rubbed between the fingers.  

This little fellow is most likely a `millipede.  Millipedes feed on mostly rotting leaves and organic matter.  They can burrow down into soil with their hard casings.  

This year is what is called a "mast" year for fall fruit and nut bearing trees.  We were slipping and sliding like crazy on thes white oak acorns.   The term "mast" comes from the Old English word "mæst", meaning the nuts of forest trees that have accumulated on the ground, especially those used as food for fattening domestic pigs. When there is a plethora of these fruiting bodies it is considered a "mast" year.  

Thankfully we did not step on this! 
This scat is most likely from a raccoon or a skunk.  

My two little friends hiked the 2.2 miles to the falls and all the way back.  Their mother sang this beautiful song to cheer me. My dear Mom passed away September 14th and my friend knew I needed some solace.   I made this little video as a tribute to my friend who sang to me and to my mom who gave me an insatiable curiosity for nature and a need to be in it as often as I can.  Enjoy.

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