Monday, April 27, 2009

Raven Cliff Falls in Casears Head State Park

Sunday was 85F here, so we headed out hiking.
There are hundreds of choices, but we picked one we took Dakota on years ago when he could do such a thing. It was again a celebration of who he was and a great day besides. We started at Casears Head State Park. Above are pictures of the view from atop Casears Head. We had to pass through Devils Kitchen (below) to go out to the deck that allows you to see Casears Head itself.
The hike we took was to Raven Cliff Falls within the state park. The falls are 400 feet long and the hike is about 2 miles one way. That's about an hour drive from home, but about 2000 feet higher than home. It was amazing to see how much that 2000 feet influenced what was in bloom. For example, our dogwoods are leafed out, but many up there were just now in full bloom. It was a beautiful day all around and here's a few photos to share.
Hiking in the Appalachian Mountains is one which you generally get to enjoy lots of green trees and hang on for a great view at the end. This time though, the trees were just beginning to leaf out so there there many times one could peak through at the view - and enjoy the breeze that could pass through!

A tree greeted us in the first little while. Reminds we of a Veggie Tale Character...

A few of the mountain laurel were in bloom with the promise of many more to follow. Large buds are beginning to develop on the rhododendron.

Small Dutch irises lined the trail in a number of places. If it wasn't irises, there were ferns coming in - and even a few fiddleheads uncurling. It reminded me of the weaving, Spring Profusion, Tommye was working on when I first met her last year.Can you find the snake?Finally here are the falls from the observation deck. Soon there will be too many leaves to even see this much.

5 comments:

charlotte said...

Beautiful pictures and an interresting story, thank you for sharing!

KaiteM. said...

what an interesting walk you had Jenn, and yes, thankyou for sharing it. Lovely flowers and even a snake, how exciting. I think that if i see a snake then the environment is still healthy.
Re my Autumn tree, i can't find the tag but i remember the seller called it a "native poplar" but it's not native to this country. I have another tree called a chinese tallow wood which has very similar leaves and does develop white seed pods, which have a solid oil and can be used as candles. Maybe that is your tree? K.

Theresa said...

Breathtaking pictures and yes, I found the snake!

Life Looms Large said...

Looks like a wonderful hike!!! (Although, I think I've revealed that I find 85 to be porch sitting weather...rather than hiking weather. I can take the cold better than I can take the heat!!)

Sue

Jennifer said...

Sue,

I wondered in your blog if you were referring to 85 as being too hot! I don't like it to get much above it, but I also must contend with 100F coming this summer! So 85F is beautiful!