Thursday, April 30, 2015

I love Spring - Shenk's Ferry Wildflower Preserve

I love spring.  I REALLY love spring.  When people ask what is my favorite season, I usually say "what ever season it is now," but in reality, I have to finally admit, spring is my favorite season.

Watching the happenings around our home is exciting - the miracle that seems to happen almost overnight as we go from dull browns and tans to bright greens, and then the blossoms everywhere we look.

Yesterday, my son was home with his lady and my sister's daughter was off work, so we all piled in my car and went to visit one of our favorite spring places - Shenk's Ferry Wildflower Preserve in the southern part of the county.

The access is not paved and this winter has done its job, eroding and flooding the one-lane road.  It was an adventure just getting in because it was a somewhat popular spot yesterday and we met a few cars coming in the opposite direction.  Water filled, hub-cap deep ruts showed us where not to drive. Have I mentioned how much I love my Rav?

Once inside and on the path, it is like a fairyland, full of wildflower vistas wherever we looked.  One of my favorite spring flowers is Virginia Bluebells and they cover hillsides as we start down the path.

 Looking a little closer, the bluebells are interspersed with white trillium and mayapple leaves.

Trillium up close...

Other wonderful ephemerals also inhabit the place including every color of violet, star of Bethlehem, toothwort, putty root and on and on...  I was so enchanted I didn't manage to even take a picture of many of them - except for this squirrel corn - one of my favorite pictures from the day.

Except for this one of our "kids" who scrambled down a deer path into the ravine on the other side of the path.  The kids are now 29 and 24(!) but they managed to remind us of days past as we watched them leaping from rock to rock and climbing all over the giant trees that had fallen cross the creek.

I'm so glad we had this chance to share one of our favorite places with our kids.  Tina and I have visited a couple of times before, but this was really special.

I *think* this place is safe now from the pipeline that had been proposed to cut right through it.  Supposedly the route has been changed.  Can you imagine that all this amazingness had been under the gun?  Oh, yeah - "profit"!

But back to my original thought.  Spring!  Timing is everything when visiting Shenk's Ferry.  The Dutchman's Breeches were already gone, but my favorites were in full splendor.  It will all make way for the next wave very soon, but for now it is perfect.  I love spring!