The last time either of us had been in the area was last summer, when things were pretty dry. Winter and spring, however, are great times for high water levels, meaning that you can take those obligatory waterfall shots.
The Upper Falls
The Devil's Bathtub
Water cascading over the rocks
There were also many other beautiful things to observe, even in the middle of winter. I was grateful to have a walking companion who understood my need to stop, look, and touch things every 5 feet or so, and who indulged my need to photograph all along the way, too. Everything was damp, and the place was alive with color.
L: Bark of the Eastern Hemlock tree
R: Moss, looking almost phosphorescent
Lovely, dainty fungus
Twisty downed branch
We didn't see very many birds during our hike, which was kind of surprising to me. In fact, the only birds we saw were two Rock Doves (AKA pigeons), but we did see evidence that a much larger bird had been in the area.
First I noticed lots of wood "shavings" on the ground all around the base of this hemlock tree. Then we looked up to see this:
Yup, a Pileated Woodpecker (or perhaps multiple woodpeckers) had been working on this tree. There were sets of holes like this on 3 sides of the tree!
Even though the temperatures have been moderate over the last week or so, there are still some pretty large chunks of ice clinging to the rocks in areas where the sunshine doesn't reach.
I've mentioned before the cooler micro-climate that exists within the parks of the Hocking Hills, and this fact hit us especially hard yesterday as we wound our way up and out of Old Man's Cave and headed toward the parking lot: off came all those layers, 'cause man it was hot up in the real world! Well, not hot, but it reached almost 50 degrees yesterday, which is much warmer than it had been down in the cave.
After our hike we drove to La Cascada, a great Mexican restaurant in Logan, and had some fantastic authentic Mexican lunch.
Some people say "cheese" when they take a picture... I say "La Cascada!"
Thanks for the companionship, Meg. I had a great time!