It’s a Beautiful Day for at Hike

By Olivia Dorothy
See the face in the rock?

See the face in the rock?

Eagle View Group outing planner, Jerry Neff, couldn’t have picked a more perfect day for the Group’s Spring Outing at Eden Valley Refuge. At sixty degrees, I was comfortable in light long-sleeves and happy to leave the extra jacket in the car. The sun was bright an uninhibited by clouds, creating brilliant rays around the rock formations and lighting up the colorful wildflowers soaking in the sunlight before the trees leafed out.

Bloodroot

Bloodroot

The ground was literally carpeted with the usual suspects: violets and phlox. Dutchman’s breeches poked out of rocks, towering over the moss and ferns. We were also fortunate to see a blooming bloodroot, which produces a single flower that blooms for one day only. The roots of these wildflowers produce a dye that was used by Native Americans and is still used today to protect teeth from plaque in toothpaste and mouthwash. I also learned a new flower, the yellow bellwort, which can be harvested and its stem cooked like asparagus – yum!

Hanging BridgeBut the hike wasn’t all about wildflowers; the trails offer some special treats for visitors. Eden Valley Refuge features a very wobbly hanging bridge, which, as the designated photographer, I tried to run across to get some good photos of everyone, much to the amusement of all who watched. The watchtower also offers a view to be rivaled of the surrounding refuge and is popular for people and birds of prey. We found an owl pellet, which, if dissected would probably wield the remains of a whole mouse. But no one took the opportunity for that science experiment.

If you missed yesterday’s outing, our next adventure is July 18. Click here for more details and to register.

Photos by Olivia Dorothy
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