September 23, 2012

Raven Rock State Nature Preserve

The trail up to Raven Rock

View of the Ohio River Valley and the hills of Kentucky from the summit

Looking towards Portsmouth from Raven Rock

Downtown Portsmouth as seen from Raven Rock

Raven Rock Arch

Raven Rock projects 6' into thin air

The exposed sandstone below the summit displays the weathering patterns
which have created the natural arches at Raven Rock SNP

Rockgrin Arch

Northern Fence Lizard

Paint Creek State Park

Paint Creek Gorge

Saltpetre Cave State Nature Preserve

The entrance to Saltpetre Cave (cave 1; 124' THC)

Saltpetre Cave State Nature Preserve encompasses a cluster of 4 cave units with a total of 7 distinct recesses. The caves are accessible with a state-issued permit from ODNR. Saltpetre Cave itself was mined for saltpetre in its past, some of which is visible on the walls at the terminus of the cave. Caves 1 and 3 contain more than 100' of passage each, making them some of the deepest recesses in the state of Ohio. These lengths are shown in the captions as THC or the total horizontal length of the cave. Cave 1 (Saltpetre Cave) can also be classified as a pillared-alcove natural arch, with the cave itself constituting the alcove.

The interior of Saltpetre Cave

Looking out from the terminus of Saltpetre Cave

The two entrances to Saltpetre Cave as seen from the interior

View from the second level of the three-tiered cave 2

Entrance to cave 3 (143' THC)

The depths of cave 3

View of the entrance to cave 3 from the interior

The double floors of cave 4

The landscape of the preserve as seen from the second floor of cave 4

September 22, 2012


Fuchsia twilight


Sunset on Ray Road

Stonelick State Park

Stonelick Lake

Roadside Cave

The entrance to Roadside Cave

Formations inside the cave

The interior of the cave

Roadside Arch

Looking through Smaller Roadside Arch to Small Roadside Arch

Caesar Creek Wildlife Area

Goldenrod under a September sky

Monarch butterfly

Monarch butterflies make the long journey each Fall to the Mexican state of Michoacan where millions gather in fir forests now protected by the Mexican government.

 New England Aster

September 21, 2012

Christmas Rocks State Nature Preserve

View from the top of Jacob's Ladder

Fractures in the Black Hand sandstone

Nature's artwork in the Black Hand sandstone

The intimate relationships between plants and bedrock
are the foundation of biodiversity in Ohio's Appalachian foothills

Interdimensional portal in the Black Hand sandstone

Thin layer of iron ore on Black Hand sandstone

Mount Pleasant

View of the Black Hand sandstone cliff known as the Standing Stone from the Fairfield County fairgrounds

At the summit of Mount Pleasant in Fairfield County lies the towering cliff known as the Standing Stone to Indians and pioneers alike. Mount Pleasant itself overlooks the city of Lancaster and can be explored via Rising Park.

Arc of Appalachia Preserve System: Chalet Nivale

Dual grottoes

Tributary of Scioto Brush Creek

Hocking Hills State Park: Rock House

View from the eastern entrance of Rock House

One of the natural windows in Rock House

View from the western entrance of Rock House

The massive western entrance of Rock House

Looking out from the western entrance

View of the western entrance

View of the western entrance from a cliff-side recess cave

September 20, 2012

Rockbridge State Nature Preserve

Rockbridge is the longest natural bridge in the state of Ohio

Rockbridge and recess

Standing on the Rockbridge