Saturday was a beautiful warm day for a hike in the forest. The first part of the trail is where the wildflowers I shared earlier this week primarily grow,
This is a steep hillside that the trail cuts across.
There are a lot of birch trees throughout these woods, many in decay. They must not be the climax forest tree but I'm not sure what is. In the part of Maryland where we used to live beech trees were the climax forest. Here the beech trees we see are spindly.
The woods seem open this time of year before leaf out.
The stone wall marks the property line of a privately owned parcel on the other side. It had been cleared of trees.
We walked on oak leaves as evidenced by the acorn tops, and pine needles with pine cones littering our path.
We came upon this big tree - possibly a hemlock which would have sired the smaller hemlocks around us.
There were vernal pools with only a few egg masses visible. Early yet for frog and toad eggs.
Oldest granddaughter is fascinated by all things little that crawl. She peeled some old birch bark and found a salamander that she had to hold to show us all before returning it to its home.
Some of the wetter spots had plank bridges for us to cross.
This very old stump had a small tree that sprouted there. See the green sprout on the left side?
Another very old stump had a sprout of its own kind - a hemlock.
As we returned to the car down the steepest part, I looked back to see the trail and it's almost invisible.
I was glad for my hiking stick with camera affixed as I descended.
This will be a destination for us for many years to come.