There was a small parking area and a kiosk with some very interesting info about how the preserve came to be, what wildlife one might come across, and a map. There were two loop trails. The geocache we had come to find was a "multi" - meaning, there would be at least two parts to find. The first part of the multi would likely be a small container with just coordinates to the next "stage" inside.
While it is common in our area to see signs like this, indicating that you need to take your trash with you, they don't usually refer to it as "debris". I guess they're not taking any chances - that should pretty much cover anything else you might leave!
It's pretty obvious spring has definitely not arrived yet, huh? We found stage one of the multi-geocache along this first, short loop. It was actually just laying on the ground - it either fell out of it's hiding spot, or somehow the last geocacher did not replace it properly in it's hiding spot. We opened it and got the coordinates, then rehid it as best we could.
We saw some nice shelf fungus, if you like that sort of thing.
Not surprisingly, the second set of coordinates led us to the other loop trail, which we were glad to explore. I knew from reading the kiosk we were going to pass through a few different ecosystems - swamp, forest and pastureland returning to forest. Here is a shot of some leaves in the pond at the beginning of the other loop trail.
Hi Bloggy Friends!!
One of the very few things we saw growing was this weird, flower-ish sort of plant. Sort of reminded me of what that "feed me Seymour" plant from Little Shop of Horrors might have looked like as a baby. DD said it smelled like onions. We have no idea what it is.
Edited to add: Thanks to an Anonymous comment, I now know that it is the beginning of a Skunk Cabbage - all you'd ever want to know about it is here.
The peepers were really loud in this swampy area, which was welcome evidence that spring really is coming. As we walked on, the trail led us into a very forested area with tall trees. We came upon an old stone wall. Stone walls are really, really common around here. It was how people marked off their property in the "olden days". We even have remains of a stone wall on our property.
This stone wall has more recent additions of fence posts and barbed wire.
Though we were on much drier land now, there were still some small streams and wet areas. This is the first of a few small "bridges" we encountered.
Some lucky animal had a nice cozy burrow this winter!
In the next part I'll show you the geocache we found, the rest of the trail, a little unwanted stowaway and a very funny picture op...
To be continued....