April 23, 2012

Johnson Woods State Nature Preserve

One of the most important woodlands in Ohio



Some of the trees in Johnson Woods are over 400 years old



Red-bellied Woodpecker



Wood Anemone



Primeval forest remnant

Clear Fork Gorge State Nature Preserve

Old-growth Eastern Hemlock-White Pine forest



Some of the tallest trees in Ohio can be found within the preserve



Clear Fork Gorge SNP can be accessed from the Hog Hollow trail in Mohican-Memorial State Forest

Mohican-Memorial State Forest

Sandstone cave in a misty ravine



White Trillium and Bishop's Cap

Mohican Lookout Tower

Fire lookout tower in Mohican-Memorial State Forest



View of Mohican country from the Mohican lookout tower

Serpent Mound State Memorial

Ohio historical marker



The Great Serpent Mound as seen from the observation tower



The Great Serpent Mound was constructed by an unknown people in an unknown time for an unknown purpose. The only truth behind the mystery is the location of the effigy mound, near the edge of a five mile wide geologic disturbance in Adams County, Ohio.



Adena burial mound near the museum

The presence of this mound alludes to the fact that the park surrounding the Great Serpent Mound was an important site for numerous cultures of First Ohioans, including the Fort Ancient culture. A smaller, and much more rare, Fort Ancient mound is also located within the park. The Ohio historical marker at the site notes that the Fort Ancient culture is responsible for the construction of the Great Serpent Mound, however, that erroneous statement is based on the removal of Fort Ancient period charcoal fragments from the mound. Since several different cultures may have used the Great Serpent Mound as a ceremonial site, the presence of charcoal simply indicates that the Fort Ancient people were present at the site around 1000 A.D.

April 22, 2012

Hopewell Culture National Historic Park: Mound City

Mound City contains the highest concentration of burial mounds in Ohio (23 mounds). The Hopewell site is one of three sites open to the public in the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park (the other two are Seip Mound and the Hopewell site).



The two classic shapes of Hopewell burial mounds can be seen at Mound City. Some propose that the round-shaped and loaf-shaped mounds were built to emulate the two essential forms of Ohio's foothills. The nearly perfectly rounded hill known as Sugarloaf (part of Great Seal State Park) can be seen in the distance from within the enclosure at Mound City.



Pure mystery on holy ground

Hopewell Culture National Historic Park: Seip Mound

Seip Mound is a massive Hopewell burial mound in the Paint Creek Valley of Ross County. Thousands of freshwater pearls were included with the burials in this mound. The mound was originally the centerpiece of a geometric earthworks enclosure.

Big Rock

Big Rock is a rare example of an Ohio butte and the legendary dying place for wolves



The summit of Big Rock

Ferncliff Cemetery

Ferncliff Falls



Ferncliff Cave



Rock city



Bald Cypress

April 20, 2012

Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve

The Falls of the Little Miami River



The Narrows



White Cedar



Cedarville dolomite is exposed throughout the gorge



Slump block in the Little Miami River



Talus cave



Solution cave in Cedarville dolomite



Looking out from inside the solution cave



Cave passage



Crawl

Hueston Woods State Nature Preserve

The Big Woods



Old-growth beech-maple forest



Squirrel-corn



Jack-in-the-pulpit



A rare glimpse of the pre-settlement forest

April 3, 2012

John Bryan State Park

The Little Miami River in winter



Cedarville dolomite slump blocks



The sheer rock face of the Little Miami River Gorge



At least three types of caves occur in John Bryan State Park. The fracture cave seen here is formed in the massive Cedarville dolomite and has an interior skylight.



Talus cave formed by Cedarville dolomite slump blocks



Solution cave (true cave) in the gorge wall



The Little Miami River at the border of John Bryan State Park and Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve



Inside the remnant of a large solution cave


Remnant solution cave



Solution formations are still active inside the cave



Natural window in dolomite



Small cliff-side solution cave