Sunday, April 18, 2010

Springtime Hike at Clear Fork

Today was a typical Ohio spring day in mid April.  The temperatures made it into the 50's so instead of a bike ride my son and I decided on a hike in the woods.  The skies were mostly cloudy with a light breeze from the southwest.  As an afterthought I grabbed my camera and was glad I did.  The first interesting shot I found was this metal sign being slowly absorbed by a Sycamore tree. 

Springtime is a great time to get into the woods.  Temperatures are mild and pleasant with no biting flies or mesquitos yet.  Protected valleys and ravines show the first signs of new life in the forest.  That is Wyatt standing in the skunk cabbage.  The flora changes quickly so I like to get out during early spring and get one last look at the lay of the land before all the understory turns leafy and green and visibility is greatly reduced.
I doubt if any of this woods is old growth forest but due to the ruggedness of the land some of these pockets remain unmolested by human developement and the trees have grown very large.  The country through which we hiked is adjacent to the Clear Fork Reservoir, A man made lake designed and built in 1949 as a fresh water source for the city of Mansfield, Ohio.  Clear Fork is one of only eight Ohio reservoirs stocked with Muskellunge or Muskies as they are known by anglers.  Other fish species in the lake are large mouth bass, white bass, black and white crappie, bluegill and channel catfish.  On land game is plentiful as well.  Whitetail deer and wild turkey are often spotted.  I have seen Osprey and American bald eagles in the area.

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