Bear Creek Preserve: Shades Creek Hike.

Bear Creek Preserve: Shades Creek Hike.

Bear Creek Preserve (7 of 39)
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Since we still haven’t had any substantial rain, and it is very dry in the woods, I thought maybe walking along a creek may help me in my search for some edible mushrooms, especially the delicious hen of the woods or, as known around here, the ramshead mushroom. Bear Creek Preserve (3 of 39)

I decided to explore the Bear Creek preserve again, this time along the Shades Creek. I left the parking area and first headed up a slight grade under  new growth maple and oak trees. The path then went down toward the creek under older and larger oak, beech and maple trees Bear Creek Preserve (2 of 39)

I crossed the Shades Creek over a narrow bridge and found myself in a mixed oak/hemlock/ beech forest. The path proceeded under very large, old gnarled rhododendron. Bear Creek Preserve (8 of 39)

I was surprised to find quite a few species of mushrooms growing along the creek. I thought there may be a few growing due to the proximity of the creek but there were a lot more than I expected, including these pretty jack-o-lanterns. Bear Creek Preserve (15 of 39)

The path continued in the woods and i kicked up a few pheasants and chipmunks but that was about it for the wildlife, except for this young toad. I was happy to not see any mosquitoes, ticks or gnats. Bear Creek  toad  062 (1 of 1)

I knew there was a waterfall along the stream but I didn’t see it. The path moved away from the creek into deeper hemlock trees. I am sure some of these old timers were first growth trees and survived the ax of the lumbermen. They were probably saplings when only Native Americans walked these woods. Bear Creek Preserve (16 of 39)

The path did get rocky and steep in spots but it was still a well maintained and relatively easy trail to hike. I would have liked to make it ti Bear Creek but didn’t have the time today so headed back up the trail.  I didn’t find any edible mushrooms but still was a nice hike along the Shades Creek. I will be back for sure. Here is a link to some more photographs taken on my hike this morning.

Bear Creek Preserve (22 of 39)

“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”
Henry David Thoreau,