Sunday, June 24, 2007

On the Trails at CNC

Today's report is a summary of images from various CNC trails I have been on this week. I had hoped to get my post up before Susan, who met Holly and me at the nature center today, but Blogger has been conspiring against me and it has taken me all day to upload these photos. I hiked Redwing Trail last Sunday (by way of Edge Trail and part of Whitetail Trace), Lookout Trail on Wed for my field study, and Edge Trail/Whitetail Trace today with Susan.

The Redwing Trail at the Cincinnati Nature Center is the longest trail on the property, officially 2.6 miles long. To reach it, you must walk about 1/2 mile out one trail, and return about 1/2 mile along another trail, so the total distance is about 3 1/2 miles. If you add this to the fact that in the spring, the trail can be very wet, nearly impassable in places, and recognize that adverse weather conditions in summer and winter can be limiting factors, you will see why I don't hike this trail very often.

Not ashamed to admit that I took the shorter, alternate path.

The first time I walked it, I took every field guide I owned, a film camera with TWO lenses, a pair of binoculars on a neck strap, and 1 small bottle of water. I was totally ill-equipped for the Redwing Trail. Over the years, I have wised up, planned for every contingency, and come prepared for the challenge. This trip, I had plenty of water, a straw hat for the sun, a light weight digital camera, my binoculars on a harness instead of around my neck, and my dogs for company.

Holly: Hot, tired and happy

When I think about the trails at CNC, this is what come to mind:

Mulched, shady paths along ravines are typical of CNC trails.

And this is a part of the Redwing Trail. But, I can get this on nearly every trail at CNC. What I walk Redwing for is the meadow.

A vast, wide meadow with flat, grassy paths, full of Indigo Buntings and Common Yellowthroat, butterflies and dragonflies, and easy, level walking.
Lots of things are blooming all over the place, despite the dry conditions.

Pasture rose, Rosa carolina, Redwing Trail, Sunday, June 17

Butterfly Weed, Asclepias tuberosa, Lookout Trail, Wed., June 20

Purple Loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria, Edge Trail, Sunday, June 24

Yes, we know it is invasive and a noxious weed. It's still pretty.

Wild raspberries, Lookout Trail, June 20

I saw rabbits, raccoons, squirrels, and deer, as well as many birds, but the only things I can get photos of are things that don't move (plants) or move very slowly (herps.) Here is a lovely female box turtle I found along an old farm lane the bisects Lookout Trail:

Box Turtle, Lookout Trail, June 20

Isn't she beautiful? I spotted her from a fair distance away and was curious to see how close I could get without frightening her. She retracted half-way into her shell when I got too close, so I laid on my belly and extended the camera as far forward as I could to get this shot of her. (Need a longer lens!)

Green Frog, Spring Pond, Whitetail Trace, June 24

Snuck up on this green frog covered in duckweed off the boardwalk on Spring Pond. Still need a longer lens!

Bench marker, Whitetail Trace.

It seems as though this couple dedicated this bench for their marriage. I love how they came back later and added their child's name to the plaque.

Pileated Woodpecker holes, Whitetail Trace, June 24.

These are really fresh, and I don't remember seeing them
when I was on this trail last week.

Slug grazing on moss, Whitetail Trace, June 24.

I tried to find out what kind of slug this is, but no luck yet. Anybody have any ideas?

(Off to see what Susan has posted...)


Susan Gets Native said...

The macro os the slug turned out pretty good!
Even with your uploading woes, you still beat me to the post, by 2 hours!

Lisa said...


I think that's Grossus Slimiosus.

NatureWoman said...

CNC looks like an awesome place to hike! No wonder you and Susan and Holly love it there!

Carol said...

Hi - I found your blog by Googling "Whitetail Trace." My husband and I are trying to find a name for our new home out in the country. Since we see lots of whitetail deer on our property, we thought of naming it "Whitetail Trace." We previously considered "Dogwood Trace" but when I Googled that, there were dozens of other Dogwood Traces out there. I believe the Whitetail Trace you write about is the only one - which makes it a little more special.

I love all your wonderful photography. Really good!