Monthly Archives: April 2014

#Waterfalls and #Wildflowers – Old Stone Fort State Park

On April 2, the next day after our Walls of Jericho hike, Dave Ridge and I went by Tennessee’s Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park in Manchester.  After the strenuous hike of the day before, we wanted something that was easy.  Both of us were impressed by this park, and we only explored a relatively small portion of the available hiking trails.  In addition to some trails in other parts of the park, you have several options to explore the section which includes the 2,000-year old earth-covered stone walls – you can stay fairly level up along the top, or take alternate routes down to the river.  As we walked along the trail, we heard falling water – the drop off the edge of Tennessee’s highland rim into the central basin forms several very nice waterfalls on both the Big Duck and Little Duck Rivers, just before they converge within the park to form the Duck River.

Big Falls on Big Duck River, Old Stone Fort State Park

Big Falls on Big Duck River, Old Stone Fort State Archeological Park. This was the site of a large mill in the 19th century.

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#NPOD: Plantain-leaf Pussytoes #Nativeplants

Native Plant of the Day 04/05/2014

Photo from April 4, 2010. Location: Zahnd’s Natural Area, Walker County, GA.

Plantain-leaf Pussytoes – for more photos / info go to the  Antennaria plantaginifolia detail page.

Plantain-leaf Pussytoes, Woman's Tobacco - Antennaria plantaginifolia

Plantain-leaf Pussytoes, Woman’s Tobacco – Antennaria plantaginifolia

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#Waterfalls and #Wildflowers – Walls of Jericho

A little over a year ago a good friend (my wife said I should use BFF here, but I’ll pass…) invited me to visit a place I’d not heard of before – Walls of Jericho astraddle the Alabama / Tennesse border.  I wasn’t able to join him last year, but we made the trip together this year on Tuesday, April 1.  It’s advertised as a “strenuous” hike, and it lived up to that billing – there is about 1,000 of elevation drop in less about 2 miles out of the Alabama trailhead (meaning “increase” on the way back out) – but it was well worth the effort.

End of the Trail at Walls of Jericho

End of the Trail at Walls of Jericho

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The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain Status Update 4/3/2014

This is a great time for a visit to The Pocket. (See end of this post for my guess on 4/10 status.)  On Thursday, 4/3/2014, my wife and I walked up the Pocket Loop Trail, and then went back down to the parking area to meet up with a homeschool group who had invited me to join them for their visit to help identify the flowers they saw.  We walked the Shirley Miller boardwalk and extension trail up to the falls with this great group of moms and their children.  Several of the “signature species” are still blooming – Virginia Bluebell, Wood (Celandine) Poppy, Dutchman’s Breeches, and all three of the Pocket’s three Trillium species are blooming right now.  35 of the 55 species on my current version of the checklist are blooming right now.

Eastern Red Columbine, Wild Columbine - Aquilegia canadensis

Eastern Red Columbine – Aquilegia canadensis

We also ran into Clayton Webster and some more of the Over the Hill Hiking Group that I met last week.  We had a nice visit exchanging information on what to look for blooming – they were coming from where we were going, and vice versa…

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