Monday, July 23, 2007

A Walk in the Woods

A friend and I found our way to an eastern spur of the Cannon River Wilderness Area (Google map here) on Sunday, from an unobtrusive entry point on Hwy 20 (Cannon City Blvd), south of Northfield. Shortly after you enter the woods, 60 wooden steps lead steeply down into a ravine, and an alternating boardwalk and trail winds through woodlands, crosses Fiske Creek, and climbs to a lovely oak savannah decked with wildflowers -- yellow black-eyed susans and purple spikes of blazing star (liatris) -- where on this occasion a red-tailed hawk wheeled and cried overhead. It was one of the prettiest spots I've ever seen, I must say. We also came upon several growths of black raspberry canes, and gathered a couple of handfuls of sweet, glossy, black berries.

Afterward, I picked up my 7-year-old son from his dad's and told him all about it, and he was so intrigued we went back out and did the whole walk over again.

Update: My friend thinks I should have mentioned seeing a female American Redstart in the woods -- a lovely little gray and yellow bird (the male, of course, is more boldly colored). We're near the edge of their summer breeding grounds, which are mainly to our east.


Sharon said...

Hello, Penny...I clicked on your link from or locallygrown, can't remember which. I have enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to reading more as time goes on. I appreciate your insights and look forward to checking out this beautiful walk soon. Have a wonderful day.

Penny said...

How nice! Thanks for writing, and I hope you'll keep reading.