Monday, August 31, 2009

Tree Tops

Hell's Hollow
As my middle daughter and I walked along Hell's Hollow Trail, we came across a large tree near the path. The branches were dark and heavy compared to its leaves.
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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pool of Water

Hell's Run
When I took this photo, my middle daughter was trying to smack Water Striders or as she calls them, 'Skitter Bugs', with her walking stick in a nearby pool of water. She was not successful as they always scurried away. I don't think she minded.
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Friday, August 28, 2009

Eeehhh... I think it is looking at me...

Baneberry
My oldest daughter spotted this unusual plant while walking along Breakneck Road in McConnells Mill. I took a few photos and we identified it as Baneberry (Actaea pachypoda) after returning home. It has many nicknames including Doll's-eyes, Bugbane, Necklace Weed, White Cohosh and White Baneberry. The overall plant is poisonous and may cause skin blisters if touched. Eating the berries may result in cardiac arrest, gastrointestinal inflammation or death depending on which article you read. Yikes! It is a monster!

With that in mind, there are a few traditional herbal remedies derived from this plant.
"The American species is considered by the natives a valuable remedy against snake-bite, especially of the rattlesnake, hence it is - with several other plants - sometimes known as one of the 'Rattlesnake herbs.'"
Source - www.botanical.com
"Native Americans used a root tea for various problems including pain, colds and coughs. The Cherokee use it to revive a patient near death. The Chippewa used the same tea for convulsions."
Source - Wildflowers of Southeastern US
Wikipedia notes Native Americans brewed a tea was from the roots of this plant to be administered after childbirth to alleviate pain.
It turns out this monster is just as interesting as it first appeared.

Sources and more info: Wikipedia, www.botanical.com, Wildflowers of Southeastern US, NC State University
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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ryan the Troll

Kildoo Falls
You may not be able to see it on one of the blue beams, but a vandal ...or a Troll... graciously spray painted 'Ryan' on Kildoo Bridge.
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dangling Leaf

Kildoo Falls
Kildoo Falls in McConnells Mill.
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Monday, August 24, 2009

Top of Rock City

Rim Road
Taken near the Rim Rock Climbing Area in McConnells Mill, this section of the park is full of huge boulders that are often topped with trees. My oldest and I enjoyed walking between the rocks inspecting all the nooks and crannies. Such fun!
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Friday, August 21, 2009

Small Waterfall


A small waterfall near Slippery Rock Creek in the Breakneck Bridge area in McConnells Mill.
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Water and Moss


This photo was taken at the base of Alpha Falls in McConnells Mill.
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Breakneck Bridge Road

Breakneck Bridge Road
This is a view of the trail going uphill after you cross the bridge. It follows the closed section of Breakneck Bridge Road.
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Monday, August 17, 2009

Breakneck Bridge

Breakneck Brigde
According to the book Lawrence County, Breakneck Bridge was originally a covered bridge built in 1874. On August 16 1952, an overweight coal truck fell through the floor of the bridge and caught fire. The driver escaped but later died from injuries. I am not sure how much of a drop it is to Cheeseman Run, but I don't think anyone could survive such a fall. So tragic.

The current concrete bridge replaced the old one, but was closed due to maintenance costs and low traffic.

In this Google Book you can see a 1908 photo of the covered bridge: Lawrence County By Anita DeVivo, Anthony P. Walczak.

If anyone has any more information, please post a comment. I had difficulty finding more information online. Maybe someday I can make it to the library...
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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Under Breakneck Bridge

Under Breakneck Bridge
This image was captured late afternoon under Breakneck Bridge in McConnells Mill State Park.
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Friday, August 14, 2009

Hell's Hollow Falls - Water, Rocks, Trees and More Water

Hell's Hollow Falls - Side Shot
Another photo of Hell's Hollow Falls in McConnells Mill.

Title by B Hay.
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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rays of Sun

Hell's Hollow Trail
A photo along Hell's Hollow Trail near the falls in McConnells Mill. This part of the path narrows and winds through a few patches of Touch-me-nots and other plants. Watch out for the Poison Ivy!
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Reflection

Hell's Run
This was taken along Hell's Run on a side path from Hell's Hollow Trail.
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Monday, August 10, 2009

The View from Cleland Rock

The View from Cleland Rock
On this day there were two Red-tailed Hawks circling the gorge. The view from here is simply amazing and having the added bonus of the Hawks along with their occasional calls, made it all the more special.

My batteries were getting low so every shot was taking forever to process. It seemed every time they would swing into view either my camera was not ready or I was not.

I missed taking a picture when they were fairly close. However this photograph captured them circling a good distance away. One is the little spec in the top left corner. The image to the right is a close up of that spot. The other one is the little dot right above the horizon line near the middle of the photo.

See I did get them... sort of. It makes me chuckle giving directions on how to read the small dots in the photo.
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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Stinging Nettles at Hell's Falls

Top of Hells' Falls
As the trail winds down to Hell's Hollow Falls, you can view this small waterfall before the main 'drop' which is right outside the frame of the photo. A Stinging Nettle and few Wild Ginger plants are growing next to the tree.

My oldest and I managed to see Harry Potter in between the flat tires, birthdays, teething babies, over-energetic kids, school shopping and the general craziness of the weekends anymore. We both enjoyed it... except for the flat tire part.
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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Coming to Visit

Hell's Hollow Trail
My oldest is finally coming to visit this weekend; an event I am very much looking forward to. The last time we were here she kept shushing me to be quiet along this part of the path. She wanted to hear the chipmunks and other animals scurry about in the foliage.

On our way to the back to the car we passed three or four teenagers eating lunch at one of the benches. They had carried in a silver boom box and were listening to hip hop. An unexpected site to see in the middle of the woods.

It doesn't look like we will get a chance to visit the Mill this weekend though.

This photo was taken on June 28, 2009 in McConnells Mill State Park on Hell's Hollow Trail.
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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hell's Run


A picture of Hell's Run taken from the first bridge along the Hell's Hollow Trail in McConnells Mill.

According to the DCNR website, in dry periods this section of the stream will run in a small underground cave.
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Monday, August 3, 2009

Alpha Falls - View from Below

Alpha Falls - View from Below
Another look at the falls. This photo was take on July 26, 2009 in McConnells Mill.
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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Hell's Hollow Falls - Gnarled Roots

Hell's Hollow Falls - Knarled Roots
A shot of the exposed roots of the tree that grows right next to the falls. It is not hard to miss, since it is the first thing you see after climbing down the stairs from the path above.
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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Canadian Wild Ginger

Wild Ginger
We believe the plant with the heart-shaped leaves in the bottom right is a Canadian Wild Ginger (Asarum Canadense). Also known as Canadian Snakeroot, it grows in rich woodland soil in eastern North America. According to one source, the leaves should not be eaten. The roots have been traditionally used as a flavoring, as well as a medicinal herb by Native Americans.

There are warnings over the concentrations of the carcinogen aristolochic acid in the roots. Aristolochic acid has been linked to a disease known as Balkan Nephropathy. Since the cases are listed in Europe, I don't know how valid the information is. In any case, consuming Wild Ginger may not be good for you.

The other plants we have not identified yet. I am curious about the plant right above the ginger but I don't know if we will figure that out right now.

More Info: WikipediaUSDAWild Ginger FarmAmerican Beauties
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