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April 15, 2014

Wayne National Forest, Lake Vesuvius
Ironton, Ohio

We went to bed with the air conditioner running and woke up with snow flying, it's been an odd spring.  Even with the odd weather, I decided to take a walk at the nearby Wayne National Forest.  I can say it is probably the first time I've photographed wildflowers with a winter coat on (and wishing I had a sweater underneath it).  We walked the paved handicap accessible trail, which is not only convenient but also has a pretty good collection of wildflowers though it pales in comparion to Carter Caves.  We counted 8 different species on our short walk today,  in spite of the snow.  Here is a link to the trail information.

Here is the information that I posted to the local camera club:  I thought I'd give an update and another trail location for some easy wildflower photography.  In spite of the snow and having to wear winter-gear (hahaha!),  I took a walk on the Rockhouse Trail at Lake Vesuvius just outside of Ironton, Ohio.  We frequent this area quite often, finding it to be a great place to sit and read, picnic, and at times some nice photography.

The Rockhouse Trail is a paved handicap accessible trail that has a good number of wildflowers next to it, so it's sort of unique and I thought it might be interesting to a number of our members.  The trail goes about 3/4 of a mile and has interpretive signs along it as well as some nice benches to sit and rest.  There is one slight uphill grade but it isn't  much really. To reach it, go to the boat ramp and park at the upper end of the parking lot across from the archery range.  The trail takes off from the end of the lot and you'll see the sign.

It was very cold today down in that hollow but we still counted 8 different wildflower species.  I should say that it pales when compared to Carter Caves but it is nice and quiet (busier on weekends) and the easiest walk you will find.  If you look closely, though, you'll be rewarded with much to photograph.  At the end of the trail is a very nice rockhouse with excellent sitting benches underneath the large overhang.

The Trillium start appearing about 1/4 of the way up the trail, we also found Fiddlehead Fern about 1/2 way, some hepatica (I believe), and a very large colony of Squirrel Corn up at the Rockhouse.  I first thought it was Dutchman Breeches but Squirrel Corn has heart shaped flowers as compared to Dutchman Breeches looking sort of like a pulled tooth (or so says my dental hygienist when she saw my photo!)  I posted Dutchman Breeches here last week, or you can go to my blog and look at the archives.

You can get to a large colony of Squirrel Corn by going to the end of the trail at the rockhouse and then proceeding out underneath it and walk the hard-packed dirt trail toward the small waterfall.  Turn right at the boulders and you'll see the colony, unless you wait too long.  I read that they flower for a very short time.