Caesar Creek Gorge State Nature Preserve
Clear and crisp. That’s how I like it. And today was that kind of perfect day that reminded me of what March should really be like. I was tired of being cooped up at work, and nature was calling me like a seductive Siren. And Caesar Creek Gorge was the place for me.
At 483 acres this is a wonderful place to explore along it’s 2.5 mile loop trail. Starting from the trail head you have a choice of either going up, or down towards Caesar Creek. Today we go down. I wanted to get close to the creek since my target bird this afternoon was a Louisiana Waterthrush. A early Spring migrant in the Woods Warbler family that is a nice addition to anyone’s list.
Except for the droning of airplanes at the nearby airport. it was as quiet as an undiscovered tomb. Late afternoon birding can be like this. You really have to work just to get the obvious yard birds added to your trip list.
As you hike along the trail you can’t help but notice the beauty that surrounds you. Today was one of those days where even though the birding wasn’t what I expected, the wild flowers were phenomenal.
On the lower portion of the trail you would stumble across sections like this where these small white flowers would carpet the forest floor.
I’m not a wild flower person. I couldn’t tell you one variety of flower from the next, however I do know when something is beautiful. This walk became more of a Spring renewal for the soul than anything else. Sure it would have been nice to see a couple different warblers, or have an owl fly overhead, but sometimes we as birders need to stop and quit looking up, and see what’s around out own 2 feet.
Well, I actually had to look up to take this picture of this Red-Bud Tree against this brilliant blue sky.
With all the recent rain we had, Caesar Creek was rather swollen, which didn’t help in locating any Waterthrushes. In the past I’ve sat by the waters edge and have them come right up the bank towards me.
Climbing out and up towards the upper most portion of the trail, these small flowers were everywhere. Now I do think they call these Dutchman’s Pants, or something like that. If you happen to know any of the names of these flowers, just name them for me in the comments section. That’s the only way I’ll learn.
Walking along I came across a section where one would think a old homestead might have stood. It was relatively flat with a fancy wire fence in one area, not what you’d find when fencing in your property. And along this fence were some Daffodils and these small blue flowers. Planted, like they were put there on purpose. What was this area like 100 years ago?
This was one of the most enjoyable afternoon I’ve spent alone in the woods in a long time. So get out and enjoy this Spring for any other reason than to stop and smell the flowers.
Notable birds for the day include:
- Northern Flicker
- Red-bellied Woodpecker
- Downy Woodpecker
- Turkey Vulture
- Black Vulture
- Northern Cardinal
- American Robin
- Tufted Titmouse
- Carolina Chickadee
- American crow
- White-breasted Nuthatch
- Cooper’s Hawk
- Great Blue Heron
- Eastern Towhee