That’s Some Rock!

arch1Saturday, Oct. 3 was one of those really perfect fall days – crisp, cool, sunshine and blue sky – so I decided to visit the natural arch that’s about 13 miles from our home.  I love rocks, and this one is impressive.

Wind, water and ice eroded the softer stone and left this hole in the hard cap rock, creating an arch that measures roughly  50 by 90 feet. The area around the arch is now a park within the Daniel Boone National Forest.  There are several hiking trails, including one that takes you down under the arch itself.  There’s another arch somewhere on one of the trails, but this is the major formation and I haven’t hiked all the trails yet, so I can’t comment on the other.

arch3According to the Park brochures, the area under the arch was considered sacred ground by the Cherokee and the Native people that were here before them.  It isn’t difficult to imagine that it was, or that it still is.

This has quickly become one of my favorite places to visit, conveniently close to home, but so magnificent in what it has to offer that each trip is a new experience. I’ll no doubt be posting more about my explorations there.

It probably took me longer than most to hike to the bottom, only because I kept being side-tracked by other things to see, like this flowing rock with the straight line of pebbles caught in the motion. How did that happen?  A trip to the library for some books on Kentucky geology is in order…


I was also impressed by this forest of moss and lichen under the cedar trees on top of one of the rock ledges.  I’m not sure what the red hairy plant is – more books required!


The remaining photos are the area under the arch, and the last one is the view of the woods looking out from the rock shelter.  I have no doubt that this was, and still is, Sacred Ground.


The shelter area under the arch




IRFD Blog Sites

Not Much to Look At…

IRFD1It rained most of the day today, but in between showers I managed to get outside in the backyard at least to participate in IRFD.  There wasn’t much to look at, really.

Mostly some wet dirt, fine roots and wormy-looking things.

A little burrow under this one…and lots of trails in the next two.


The most interesting find was a little snail under the last one I flipped.  I did maybe a dozen or so without much success for anything dramatic.  But after I processed the photos and put them up here, I think they’re kind of neat in their own way.  I’m sure a magnifying glass or microscope would reveal a lot of critters and plants not visible in these photos.

In any case, I had a great time in spite of the rain and noticed a lot of other stuff in my yard that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise.  I’ll have to try this again when the weather is more favorable.

You can see the list of participants at wanderinweeta’s.


Food for Thought

coyemalesmall1.jpgHi folks – thanks for the nice comments about continuing this blog. 

There’s a good article on the New York Times site about how our food habits are killing migratory birds:

I really  hope that link works!   


Every time I decide I’m just going to abandon this blog, something draws me back.  Then, every time I decide I’m going to start blogging here regularly again, something draws me away.  Oh well – I’m going to quit trying to explain, because I just don’t know what else to say.


I DO know that this has been one long, cold, snowy winter here, and I am so ready for spring I can hardly stand it.  The daffodils have been blooming in Kentucky for more than a week, and the redbuds will soon turn the hills pink – but I’m going to miss both, since I won’t be going back there until after spring banding is completed here in NJ.

There’s hope though – I heard a phoebe singing yesterday – and the titmice and chickadees are changing from a few chirps here and there to bits of actual song. 

I think I’m going to be a lot like some of these hibernating animals – coming more fully awake as the weather warms up and the sun shines again!  Life is chilly – but good.

New Blog and Bragging Rights

DSC 4298 filtered

Those of you who have been readers of Natural Notes know that my son Rob is a great photographer and once in a great while I’ll post one of his photos here, as I did in my previous post for Wordless Wednesday.

Well, Rob has finally joined the world of blogging and if you enjoy his bird and nature photos, you may want to stop by his blog and take a look. There’s a link in the first post for his Etsy site, where many more photos, including more on the red-winged blackbird flock, are posted.

Hope you all survived the onslaught of snow/ice of the last week. For me, the novelty of winter has worn off and I am ready for spring. Only 4 or 5 more months to go, and we’ll be complaining it’s too hot! Works for me.

Dark and Lovely

The last week of rain and humid temperatures have at least been good for something – if not bird banding. A lovely patch of mushrooms growing in the wood chips right outside the bird observatory door.


I have no idea what kind they are, and haven’t had time to look them up, as I’m on a book deadline. They didn’t last more than a day, but soon took on an even more sinister look as they began to wilt and topple.


I’m not an expert on fungi, by any stretch of the imagination, but I would venture to say that these babies are probably deadly. They have that look, wouldn’t you say?


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