Ferns On The Palisades

by Jim and Melanie

We go to Palisades-Kepler State Park  in east central Iowa several times a year. Thanks for joining us this time. We like to hike along the trail more than 100 ft above the Cedar River. Parts of the trail are along the face of these rocks.

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Each season brings out something different such as wild flowers in summer or colored leaves in autumn. This time it was an abundance of ferns. We’ve had a wet and cool spring.

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Could not ID

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Lady Fern | Athyrium filix-femina

Maidenhair Fern | Adiantum pedatum

Maidenhair Fern | Adiantum pedatum

Hiking the trail along the palisades requires some careful attention to footwork. Parts of it are flat along the top. Even then, there are often tree roots or rocks to catch the unwary. Now and then you need to ascend and descend. Steps were built into the trail many decades ago. We are sure-footed. But, the hiking poles give that extra measure of balance.

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As we crossed a small stone bridge upon our return, this little red-topped fungus caught our eye. It was growing in a tiny patch of dirt trapped on top of the bridge.

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The park was very quiet this morning. We met no one on the trail. The only sounds were the birds and our own footsteps.

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About half a mile from the park entrance, we passed an amusing and familiar sight. Perhaps you know of Grant Wood. He was from this part of the state of Iowa. Folks around here like to honor him and his work.

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7 thoughts on “Ferns On The Palisades

    1. Melanie McNeil

      We always have a good time there. I’m sure I’ll never study the mushrooms/funguses for names, but I always enjoy seeing them. There was one we saw as we entered the trail growing at the base of a tree. It looked like tiny (mouse-sized) Mickey Mouse gloves sticking up out of the dirt. Almost made me want to dig him out!

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    1. Melanie McNeil

      It was warm and humid and buggy, but yes, wonderful! The sticks have made a big difference for me, for balance. And my diminished vision — having them is like having antennae, so I can feel where I am even when I can’t see. 🙂

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      1. shoreacres

        Or “curb feelers.” Remember when they put those on cars, so you could know when you were getting too close to the curb? I haven’t thouight of those in forever.

        I like that red mushroom.It looks like half of a salt and pepper set I once had. The variety among fungi just amazes me.

        Like

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