Tag Archives: nature

Our Visit to Hocking Hills

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Our Visit to Hocking Hills

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Last weekend, Mister, Otis, and I took off for the day to visit some of Mister’s family and let them meet our adorably furry bundle of joy. We had planned on the possibility of getting to visit Hocking Hills State Park since we were so near, but the weather didn’t act like it was going to allow it. Finally, after the last big storm blew through, the sun came out in all its glory and the doplar didn’t show anything else coming near us. We packed up the puppy, and we all took off down the road. I was especially excited since this would be my first visit to Hocking Hills after hearing so much about it. I was used to hiking at Lake Vesuvius near home, and the only time I’ve experienced hiking and caves together was the almost yearly field trip we’d take in elementary school to Carter Caves. Hocking doesn’t have the same kinds of caves though, with only one “true” cave – the Rock House – which we didn’t get a chance to visit. These are recess caves, carved out through many years of glaciers and erosion. They are full of these beautiful naturnal waterfalls, sandstone beaches, and history.

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We got to visit Old Man’s Cave and Ash Cave during the few hours we were visiting the park. Ash cave is the easier walk, and is even wheelchair accessible, but I really enjoyed all of the twists and turns of Old Man’s Cave. Around every corner was a new waterfall, and I went absolutely crazy with the camera. Here’s Mister and I at what I believe are the Upper Falls of Old Man’s Cave:

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There’s really so much to explore, but do be careful…there are very few handrails and plenty of slippery cliffs. Here’s Tamie and Rob investigating in a rather slippery spot:

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Tamie is even working on a children’s book that is set in Hocking Hills and includes several of the park’s geographical features and native plants and wildlife. It’s an adorable tale that I can’t wait to see published!

In between the two caves we visited, we got to stop by the park’s bird conservatory, home to a gorgeous great horned owl and a one-winged red tailed hawk (hoping we can go back and learn his story!). The owl kept his eyes on our little Otis the whole time, making him rather nervous to get too close, but I think we got the perfect shots of both feathered friends.

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Ash Cave has one of the most breathtaking waterfalls of the park, and the cave floor feels much like a beach, a quality Otis rather enjoyed. He left his little paw prints everywhere he could.

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Otis was such a trooper all day and barely ever had to be carried. He climbed rocks, walked across fallen trees, and ended the day a muddy mess. He definitely slept the entire way home without a single complaint.

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It really was a wonderful visit, and I only wish we had been able to stay longer and explore more. I’m certain we’ll be heading back soon though. Plenty more to see! I thought it was fitting though that we ended our visit by playing our hiking game of finding hearts formed in nature (our last visit to Lake Vesuvius had us finding heart shaped mushrooms and heart shaped rock openings). At the end of our visit to Hocking Hills, we spotted this heart formation. Until next time…   😉

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Just shoot for the stars…

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Mister and I packed up the bikes and headed over to the park for a nice bike ride the other day. We totaled nearly six miles, which felt great, but I was also really pleased with my new velcro bag for my bike’s handlebars. Why, you ask? Because now I can tote my camera around on these little bike rides. It was very ideal for the park’s rose garden, especially.
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The signs all said not to pick the flowers, but Mister couldn’t resist one tiny little one for me.
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Also rode down to the creek to spend some time with our lovely ducky friends…
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Many more photos were taken, but it’d be a pain for your pages to load if I made this entry that photo-heavy.

Anyway, time for a preview of coming attractions! …well, projects…While bored one night last week, I taught myself to make a granny square by just watching some videos on youtube. It easily became addictive. Now Mister even wants to learn how to crochet and make the granny squares (a lesson which will be taught this coming weekend!) so that we can put together all these lovely little squares into one big afghan.
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So exciting! Let’s hope he catches on as easily as I did.

Remnants of a Tea Party

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Since Mister and I have been together, we’ve gone so many interesting places and seen so many scenes that would make for beautiful photos. Usually though, I only have either my cell phone camera or tiny digital cam handy, and never get to accurately capture the shots. I dream of eventually getting a nice sturdy digital with a higher megapixel and better zoom capabilities, but for now I’ve started taking my mother’s little Sony out on Mister and my journeys.

For his birthday weekend, we spent the entire weekend relaxing together in his neck of the woods. Once the festivities were over, we spent a couple nice days out at the rope swings with family and friends, dangling out over creek water of unknown depth and plunging in with the fishes. Dangerous…reckless…something that would have had my mother in fits of worry had she known what I was doing…and absolutely DELIGHTFUL.

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Once I was out of the water, I took to wandering around (as usual when I get out in a new place). I walked through the trees near the bank and out into the woods. Eventually, I spotted a curious little item buried in the sandy dirt. An old teacup! As if someone had stopped by the side of this shady path and decided to have their afternoon tea with a view of the creek. Lovely!

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No telling how long this little cup had been buried there or the story of its tea party, but it does stir a desire in me for my own little tea party. I almost picked the cup up to bring it home since it had charmed me so much, but I discovered that the forest insects had made a home of it so I let it be.

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Driving home with happiness in my heart, I put the camera out the window for one fleeting shot of the lake our creek was running in to as we went by. Calm. Peaceful. The perfect weekend with my love.

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