This past weekend we spent most of our time outside playing in the garden, hiking in the woods and just enjoying the days,
Just down the road from us a bit, in Dugspur Virginia, is one of our favorite places to play in the spring. We follow Panther creek road along Big Reed Island creek, until we come to our favorite spot. There is a small area to pull over, a trail that leads to Big Reed Island creek, and a trail that follows a smaller creek back into the woods.
It is so hard to get a good pictures of the area, but their are huge rock wall and they are all covered in wild phlox, columbine and bleeding hearts.
i love the wild flowers i find here. These are the Wild Phlox.
The family loves sitting up on this huge rock that overlooks the creek. i admit it makes me a bit nervous, but it's actually not as scary once you are up there as it looks in the picture.
There is a small trail near the big rock that leads down to the water. The energy from the water rushing over the rocks here is just amazing. It truly leaves you feeling energized and alive.
My favorite part of coming here is wandering into the woods looking for wildflowers. i always find lots of common wildflowers, like the anemones, columbine and the wood violets. This time i found one i wasn't familiar with at all. It's a very interesting plant, with a spray of these tiny flowers. When we got home, i spent quite a bit of time online trying to figure out what it is. It isn't listed in my wildflower book.
The plant is called Yellowroot, and is named for it's yellow roots. The roots were used by Native Americans to produce a yellow dye.
This would have been an awesome picture if it was in better focus. All along the tops of these rocks were wild bleeding hearts. The rocks were over 6 feet tall, so it was hard to climb up to get the picture...but there is probably 6-8 feet of the bleeding hearts all in a row.
As we follow the little creek in the woods, there are a series of small pools and waterfalls that the kids love to play in. Sage loves to find salamanders and their are little fish and crawdads that dart about in the pools.
Although i have never seen a rattlesnake here, i have been told that they can often be seen sunning themselves on the big rocks in the summer.
The farther we walk up, the mountain the more water falls and pools. Each one just as fantastic as the last.
As we were leaving we passed a huge puddle at the entrance of a two track. i asked kenan yto pull over so i could check for tadpoles, and the puddle was full of them!! So i scooped up a few and brought them home. The last few years we've raised tadpoles, and this year will no different. :) It is always fun to watch them turn into frogs.
i love this time of year! We go hiking and exploring every chance that we can. i'd really like to find some new places to explore this year, although i'm also eager to visit some of our favorites like the Cascades, and the Grayson Highlands. The kids start spring break this week, so we are already making plans for a few places to hike. My boy wants to plan our hiking around local Bigfoot sightings, while my girl is determined to find Totoro.
My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing. ~Aldous Huxley