Yesterday we took the boys to Kanawha Falls and Cathedral Falls. They were most interested in looking for signs of animals. We did find some good signs.
red fox footprints
The first tracks they found were some footprints near the water in the sand. After analyzing them and using the handy-dandy track guide they brought they determined it was a red fox. I imagine a lot of that ID also came from the location. I think grey fox are more field-type hunters where reds are more wooded area hunters.
If there had been any doubt that it was a fox, a short distance away in some weeds they found some fox scat. The boys really enjoyed that.
Further along we found dog tracks, a trail down the sand from the parking lot to the water where runoff had made it’s own “creek”, some bird tracks and another critter’s toe prints that I don’t remember what it was. Overall, they found quite a bit. I think our son was hoping to find a racoon rest-stop along the water, but we didn’t. He has learned a lot from his father about nature. I have to, whether I wanted to or not….
how jewelweed got it's name
We then went on up the road to Cathedral Falls. This is a little recess in the mountain where water comes down the face. It pools at the bottom and runs into a creek that goes into the river just a few hundred feet away. The boys were thrilled to walk around the base of a waterfall, though it is more of a trickle. I haven’t seen water gushing over this rock face in a good long time. If we came out after a hard rain storm I’m sure it would live up to it’s majestic name.
Along the side of the trail hubby found some jewelweed. It isn’t blooming right now, all you can see are the leaves, but hubby plucked a stem and took it to the pool of water to show the boys how jewelweed got it’s name. When you put the leaves underwater they get a silvery look to them, and that is why it is called jewelweed.
We are hoping we can do another trip next week to Kanawha State Forest. The problem may be transportation. We are hoping to have more than two or three kids next week, and between our two cars the most we can take are seven. We will have to see.
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