Thursday, January 3, 2013

Little Cedar Creek Wildlife Sanctuary, Allen County

Little Cedar Creek Sanctuary Nature Preserve
      I was recently looking through some photographs that I had forgotten were on my camera's memory card, and realized that I had neglected to blog about my family's most recent hiking adventure.  In October we visited the Little Cedar Creek Wildlife Sanctuary in Allen County.  This is the only hike we were able to take during the colorful fall months so I was eager to find and photograph some of nature's autumn splendor.  I wasn't disappointed...
This preserve is a floodplain forest where the drainage divides between the Eel, Wabash, Saint Joe, and Maumee Rivers.  I'm not sure which river this part of Little Cedar Creek is headed for, but don't the fall colors reflecting off the water's surface look gorgeous?
      Nothing says "fall" like colorful foliage...

...and fungus!
LichenLichen is a primitive plant species that consists of strands of alga linked with roots and branches of a fungus that together absorb minerals from the ground and conduct photosynthesis.  Lichen can grow almost anywhere from moist bark, to recently cooled lava, to frozen rocks.
Turkey Tail bracket fungus
 I love the deep purple edge on these mushrooms!
More Turkey Tail fungus
Bracket, or shelf, fungi are decay organisms.  Their job is to decompose the dead wood they feed on so the nutrients can be recycled by new plants and animals.  
As you can see, Turkey Tail mushrooms come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors.
      As excited as I was for beautiful fall photos, the kids were on the look out for more tangible souvenirs of the season.  
Hank and Evelynn are going on a leaf hunt!


Hank showing off a few of his colorful finds. 
       By the time we left the preserve, Hank and Evelynn had acquired quite a collection of beautiful, and somewhat soggy, autumn leaves.  They were busy plotting and planning what they would do with their collection almost all the way home. 
       I am blogging in December about a hike from October because I forgot about my camera's memory card stashed in my backpack.  Yeah...the leaves are still there, too.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to our little corner of the world! I love fall fungi, but I didn't get out in time to see much this fall.