Monday, January 24, 2022

Winter at Shanty Hollow Lake

Partially Frozen Shanty Hollow Lake

For information on Shanty Hollow Lake click here.

A couple of days ago we had a snow storm dumping about 10"
of snow in this area.  By today, alot of the snow had melted...
the temperature was in the upper 30s.  I thought I'd take a look at
Shanty Hollow with snow.  It's a short walk from the parking lot
to the main waterfall.  That's where I'm headed.

Many of the boulders were moss-covered, creating 
a beautiful green/white contrasting landscape.

Soon after you begin your walk you'll hear a waterfall.  
It's not the main one, but you need to stop and see it, anyway.

At the top of this hill is a small waterfall
creating this perfect little stream.  Take some

time to just listen to the water and the birds.

I saw and heard a Pileated Woodpecker.
Photo taken from the Cornell website, below.
Information on Pileated Woodpeckers

I'm on the north side of the stream, looking south.  
The main waterfall is to the right (west).

Many of the boulders have little ferns growing in crevices.
You can see them in the photo above.

Here are a couple of unusual ferns in the genus Asplenium,
called Scott's Spleenwort.

Asplenium ferns tend to hybridize creating interesting individuals.


Scott's Spleenwort (Asplenium x ebenoides)
You can compare the frond size with the penny.

Getting close to the waterfall.

Some species of mushrooms grow in freezing temperatures!

You can see the waterfall in the background.

Over time the stream has carved into the rock
creating this mini-canyon!

Apparently rock climbers like these cliffs.
You can see metal rings/pegs in some of the rocks
along the way (not in this photo, though).

I like the way this Yule Fern frond
looks in the snow!
(aka Christmas fern)

The wind and water have carved out some interesting patterns
in the boulders.  I see a dinosaur and a goat.

I'm at the waterfall crossing over to the south side of the stream.
The waterfall is behind me.

The waterfall at Shanty Hollow.

A video of the waterfall can be found here.

Some of these icicles are gigantic, making a loud booming sound
when they hit the ground.  

This population of clubmosses (possibly Lycopodium porophilum) 
was growing in one of the crevices in the cliff.  
The book I'm using calls this Rock Clubmoss.

Close-up of the clubmosses.

The north side of the stream.

The south side of the stream, on the right.

This area is just west of the waterfall.
Apparently, the overhang creates a perfect
habitat for liverworts (see photos, below).
Icicles and Liverworts
I was surprised to see these liverworts growing in such
cold temperatures.  It has been below freezing at night for
at least a week.
Liverworts belong in the same group as mosses, the
non-vascular plants, Bryophytes.

At this point I decide to head back the way I came, being sure
to stop, look, and listen in case I missed something.

All you can hear is the waterfall and some birds!
Take the time to stop and listen for a few minutes.

Everytime you go walking in the woods in this area you'll hear 
and see Carolina Chickadees.  To hear this species and get 
information about them, click the  website below the photo.
Photo taken from the Cornell website, below.
To hear a Chickadee, click here.

This very distinctive leaf belongs to a wild orchid called
Cranefly Orchid.  The leaf will decompose by summer and a
beautiful stalk of orchid flowers will grow where it was!

Click here to see the flower.

This Moss species has produced red sporophytes!
(Sporophytes contain the spores...microscopic reproductive cells)

Heading back to the parking lot.  It gets
a little slippery, so be careful.

On the way back I walked past a boulder that I didn't look at
before, and I spotted these small rock ferns.

They look like a hybrid of Mountain Spleenwort (Asplenium montanum) with another Asplenium species.

Maybe Bradley's Spleenwort??  Look at the penny on the left
and contrast the size of the fern with the penny.

Shortly after that, I ran across these tiny ferns.
Some unusual looking fronds.  I'm sure they're
a kind of Asplenium hybrid.

Look at the fiddlehead just below the frond.

More Asplenium hybrids.
(If anyone knows the names of these ferns, please contact me
via e-mail, by going to my profile, in the margin)

Next time I'll cross the stream and head over to those cliffs
in the background.

A combination of Yule Fern fronds and
Beechdrop flower stalks!  Beautiful!
Click here for information on Yule Ferns.

This species of Juniper Moss was everywhere, like tiny pine
trees, adding to the green part of the landscape.

You're going to want to stop here and just
listen to this small waterfall...and the birds!!

Most people don't realize that some mushrooms grow
in the cold winter months.
Careful with wild mushrooms, though; there are poisonous
winter mushrooms, too!  Do not ingest them, unless you are an
expert, or you have consulted an expert!

This Marginal Woodfern was growing everywhere.  On the left
is a typical frond, at least a foot long, and on the right are some
sub-leaflets showing their sori (spore-bearing structures).

Click here for information on Marginal Woodferns

So much green a couple of days after a snowstorm.

Sometimes taking a walk in the snowy woods is just what you 
need to connect with your natural gain an
appreciation for the living things that you share Earth with.

Everything green that you saw is providing you with the air you
breathe and removing the CO2 from the air...not to mention
giving you the pleasure of their beauty!

Get out and explore!!

 Click here to see Shanty Hollow in November.
and here  to see it in May,
and here to see it in September.