Monday, August 31, 2009

The Hill Revisited

Have you ever noticed at the end of a hike that there are people who hang back after the goodbyes have been said and departures have begun and say something like “You mentioned a panoramic view from the top of the hill. Do we have time to go see that?” Well, in this case we do have time, so we’ll go back passed the pine trees and head up the hill. The first thing you might notice is how straight this route is and after I just told you that straight trails should be avoided. In this case the trail follows the old farm lane and that means no curves.

This ant hill has grown to intrude upon the trail. This is a wonderful hill for winter sledding. There is an abrupt drop off into the field on both sides, so sledders need to stay to the center. It’s also poor form to hit the ant hill, so a keen sled steering ability is a must here.

Passed the Redbuds the trail narrows as we near the top of The Hill. Indian Grass is beginning to crowd in on both sides of the trail.

West toward the Ohio Brush Creek Valley. A little hazy, but not the thick fog we saw in late spring. The remains of a dead Sycamore are easy to see against the dark green cedar. This is a wonderful place to watch storms approach, but you don’t want to linger here too long. This hill top is a prime location for lightening strikes.

The hill top prairie is composed primarily of short grasses. Most of the earlier flowers have finished blooming and the goldenrods and asters are just beginning.

The tree line of the woods takes on a jagged appearance as some trees fall and others prosper. The woods in the background have been periodically logged, but has always maintained near 100% canopy cover. The wooded slope showing as a mix of cedars and deciduous trees was being farmed around 1920. All the trees have sprung up since then.

Here’s the big field showing off its cover of Indian Grass. The darker green patches have a heavier population of Goldenrods. The trail we walked last week followed the tree line on the left and then cut across the field toward the pine trees in the upper right. Now we’ll have to call this walk finished. I have other things I need to get on to.

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