Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hocking Hills, destination: Rock House

A few weekends ago Dave and I took a day trip up to the Hocking Hills to visit Rock House, which is, I think, the only "natural feature" within the Hocking Hills that I've never been to. (There are lots of cool natural features to visit in the Hocking Hills: Old Man's Cave, Ash Cave, Conkle's Hollow, Cantwell Cliffs and Rock House.)

It's quite an amazing place, to say the least. The color and structure of the rocks blew my mind.

I don't like this picture much because it's blurry and overexposed, but I see Jabba the Hut's face in the rock on the right. Does anyone else see it?

Taken within the rock house. Notice the graffiti (click photo to enlarge). It always disheartens me to see such defacement and disrespect of natural features.

Also from within the rock house. I bet that place is awesome in the summer - we could feel a lovely breeze running in one end and out the other. Nature's own air conditioning!

For any city dwellers, bear with me, but I was excited to see Rock Pigeons there. Not only because I hardly ever see pigeons, but also because I think they're beautiful birds with all their color variations. It was a bonus to see them in their natural habitat! We also heard Phoebes singing among the trees and rocks.

I enjoy the rhythmic cooing of the pigeons, and it was interesting to hear it amplified by the natural curves of the rocks. Before we left, I heard little baby pigeons begging to be fed, but I did not search for the nest.

It wasn't until I zoomed in on some of the pigeon pics that I noticed at least one of the birds was banded. I think others may have been too. It's too bad the pictures aren't more clear and that I can't make out what might be written on the band.

And now we bid you farewell from the Hocking Hills. I'll post more pictures in April after the Shoot the Hills photo competition, if not sooner.


The Early Birder said...

I'm no geologist but I can see why you enjoyed these beautiful formations created so long ago. Ditto re the 'grafitti'..ugg.

RuthieJ said...

What a neat place Heather.
It looks like the pigeons are pecking on the rocks--do you think they're picking up grit or insects?

(we had a pigeon hanging around our house last summer with colored bands on its legs too--we wondered if it was someone's racing pigeon or something like that?)

nina at Nature Remains. said...

That's a neat place to see--I have been to Hocking Hills, but never the Rock House.
Good luck on the competition--your photos are #1 in my book!

Heather said...

Frank - Aren't they fantastic?! Hey, maybe we should be the graffiti police!

Ruthie - I'd say those pigeons could be doing either. The rocks were also kind of damp, so maybe even taking in some water?

Nina - The Hocking Hills is full of such beauty... I never get bored with it. Thanks for your well wishes and compliments.

Shellmo said...

I would love to go hiking thru here! Nice photo of you & the hubby - you're an attractive couple!
P.S. Are you planning a trip to northern michigan this summer? If so - I hope we can connect!

Kelly said...

What a cool place...I've not been to the Rock House in Hocking Hills. We have to put it on the list! You guys look like you were having fun!!

Meg said...

Oh, I have so many great memories of Rock House and all the other places you mention. John and I took the kids there all the time when they were little--for day hikes mostly, since it was so close to Columbus. Lovely photos, as usual. I am going to check out Picasa--thanks for the tip!

And I'm glad you like pigeons. I think that means you are a true birder--it isn't only the exotic ones that excite you : ) I am always in awe of cardinals. Even though they are common around here, they are spectacular! Imagine if you'd never seen one before...

Heather said...

Shelley - Thanks! Yes, we are planning on coming up to northern Michigan this summer. I'll email you once we get the details figured out.

Kelly - Have you been to any other destinations within the Hocking Hills? It's all beautiful. We had quite an enjoyable day that day, complete with a trip to the Heron rookery on the way home.

Meg - That's cool that you and John took your kids there a lot. I bet they have fond memories of those places, too. I agree about the Cardinal, it is a very beautiful bird, so boldly colored. I find them especially striking against a backdrop of snow.

Anonymous said...

I just got back from a trip down to the hocking hills area. I was mortified to see people always going off trails, swimming, disfacing the area, trash everywhere, need i go on? Even workers cleaning up downed trees in the streams didn't do anything when someone went bywading through the water they worked by. The sighns are clearly posted in majority of the park, so either the U.S, has many illiterates, or the disrespect is mounting. Sadly I had to move to ohio and I have to admit the amount of disrespect I recieve here is amazing.