We started from the auxiliary parking lot along the All-Persons' Trail. This level, paved path is geared towards those in wheelchairs, pushing strollers, or with mobility issues, but it shouldn't be overlooked just because you don't have any physical limitations.
A quick stop at the bird blind revealed Northern Cardinal, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Downy Woodpecker, and White-breasted Nuthatch in under 2 minutes. My photos of same were all out of focus, as the darned auto-focus opted to stress the importance of the background trees and bushes rather than the little birds in the foreground. (Maybe I should read my camera's manual.)
Leaving the bird blind, we passed this field, a great spot for sparrows. I can usually count on pishing out White-throated, Song, and Field Sparrows here, as well as Eastern Towhees. Not today. Still, the view was great, especially with all the dried flower heads of the goldenrod and this old log cabin in the background. The cabin is not part of the original property, but has been brought in, presumably for educational purposes. I am of two minds about the cabin. I don't see what it has to do with native Ohio flora and fauna, nor is it part of the Krippendorf legacy, but it does present some nice photo ops.
We picked up the Upland Trail behind Lotus Pond, then turned downhill along the Wildflower Trail. Usually, I hike up this trail after walking along the valley, so going downhill gave me a new perspective.Wonder who is living in this hollow log? Looks like a good place for woodland elves or forest gnomes.Approaching the valley floor...This field is where I first heard Blue-winged Warblers, in April of 1994. It was the first time I learned to identify birds by their song. "Bee-buzzz." No more warblers now, except Yellow-rumped, till next spring.Next, we merged onto the Geology Trail, and followed it along Avery's Run. There are two places where the trail crosses the stream, and there are large limestone boulders to use as stepping stones. In wet weather, these can be very slippery, and even when the water level is low, as it was today, the surfaces are irregular and the rocks sometimes wobble a bit. I have gotten into the habit of letting my dogs go free at the crossing places, to keep from getting pulled at the wrong time and losing my footing. I know that I have Holly under as much control with my voice and hand cues as I do with a leash and collar, so I take a chance on getting caught with my dog off-lead. [This is totally against CNC rules, and I do not recommend you do it. If I get caught, I will get busted by the Trail Police and have to make my own excuses. Don't use "But, KatDoc does it" as your excuse, OK?]
Looks like the old pump house has a new roof. This stone building is all that remains of a time when the Krippendorf's water supply was pumped up to the house from Avery's Run.The only problem with going downhill at the Cincinnati Nature Center is that eventually you have to go back UP. I thought about trying the Limestone Steps, but opted to continue along the trail. There is a trickle of water at the two little falls, but rains in the next month or so should make them more dramatic.Finally, we have no choice but to go back uphill. Oh, Holly - can we make it up all those stairs?Thank God for benches in strategic places!Edge Trail encircles Powel Crosley Lake, and features a boardwalk, a marsh, and a bird blind. Unfortunately, it is the only trail many guests ever walk. I wish more people would branch out and try some of the other trails. The lake view is beautiful in autumn, even though the light was terrible today.We ended up back on the All-Persons' Trail as we headed back to the car. A Carolina Wren in the tree next to my car surprised us as we got in. Other birds from today's walk include Red-bellied, Pileated and Hairy Woodpecker (a 4 woodpecker day is always good), Canada Geese and Mallards, Dark-eyed Juncos, Blue Jays and goldfinches.