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Friday, May 22, 2015

May 21st Walker's Club - Starved Rock, Lover's Leap, Eagles Clif, Wildcat

Not necessarily the best photo of the day, but how can I not feature the ELUSIVE GREEN DRAGON!

Today's Walker's Club had 39 walkers and 3 dogs.  Started out a little cloudy but ended up a beautiful day.  Had my jacket around my waist most of the time.  Wildflowers are still out there but are dwindling to a few.  Enjoy!!!

39 hikers and 3 dogs take off for the trail

Nice picture, but I think this is an invasive honeysuckle plant

Going into French

French Canyon

1 of 2 Poison Ivy display signs.  Leaves of 3 leave them be!!!

My motto is, "If its green leave it be"

Lover's Leap --- View to the East from the top of Starved Rock. 
Look real close, this is a zoomed photo of Leopold Island. There is an Eagle in the center of the photo.
Pelicans have arrived

Ron telling the Legend of Starved Rock

View of the Lodge from the top of Starved Rock

Looking over the boardwalk atop Starved Rock

Muillen at the top of Starved Rock

Poison Ivy creeping out onto the steps

Heading to Lover's Leap

Stay on the Trail!!!!   We have a new walkway and stairs

New stairs near French Canyon

You can still find a few Jack in the Pulpits

Everyone from the Walker's Club says HI!!!  Photo taken from Lover's Leap

Barge getting ready to come through the Locks
View from Eagle's Cliff looking East (Best view in the park)

Arnie and Cocoa enjoying a photo op at Eagles Cliff
We enjoyed the new stairs coming down to the river trail from Eagles Cliff

Columbine (Red) and Mouse eared Chickweed (white)

I think this is a Common or Northern Dewberry

Wildcat Canyon

This sister and brother pair from Evanston joined us today after the sister came in January for a hike.  She then told her brother about our group and park.  Both enjoyed the hike today.

Helen taking a break in Wildcat Canyon

These (Jack in the Pulpit) flowers are almost gone until next year.  I just couldn't resist the photo.

Coming out of Wildcat, have to go up, up, up.... 150 or so

Top of Wildcat

The Green Dragon   This flower is very hard to find... because it is green.  Notice the top is curved. The dragon comes up from the ground similar to the Jack in the Pulpit.

Just the dragon part.  Green bottom shooting yellow

2 dragons

After the Starved Rock hike, a few of us went to Matthiesen State Park in search of a Yellow Lady's Slipper.  (photo below)  Photo above is of a very large Jack in the Pulpit.  They did seem to be a bit big this year. 

Yellow Lady's Slipper at Matthiessen Park
 What a great day for a hike!!  (Like there is ever a bad day!!) Love finding those elusive wildflowers.  Soon I will be looking for Coral Root (another orchid).

I will leave you with this: Dreams are the seedlings of realities.  And it is often from the fertile soil of failure that they grow.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

April 30th Walker's Club LaSalle, Tonti Canyon

Best photo of the hike
Sorry this post is a little late.  We had a beautiful day a few days after a heavy rain, which meant the waterfalls we saw were flowing great.  Today we had 43 walker's and 3 dog.  That is a record. We met in the Lodge's lobby and carpooled to the Parkman's Plain parking lot off of Rt. 71. and walked into Owl, LaSalle, Tonti and to the bottom of the steps by Lonetree.

43 walkers and 3 dogs

Our state flower - Violet

Blue Phlox

Virginia Bluebells are still hanging on

Virginia Blue bells

Owl Canyon

Squirrel Corn

At the mouth of Owl Canyon - Kevin is taking a break

Prairie Trillium

Swamp Buttercup I think (I always have trouble with this one)

The buds on the Columbine

Mouse eared Chickweed

Jack in the Pulpit

LaSalle Canyon

West wall in LaSalle Canyon

Tonti Canyon

Creeping Charlie

Coming across the LaSalle Canyon Bridge

Trash picked up during the hike.  Yes that is a duck decoy!

Ellie also found this frisbee on the river trail.  She was wearing it as a necklace throughout the hike.
I will leave you with this: The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.