Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Tour of Timberdoodle

We may not be the best family to hike with- it is hard to see wildlife when two toddlers are being quite loud after all!  We invite you to join us anyway as we give you a tour of Timberdoodle Flats, an interpretive trail in the Allegheny National Forest. 

Hiking with the stroller

The Bluebird Trail is hardened with limestone, so we'll be following that one today with the kids in the double stroller.  You might hear us lovingly refer to that big clunky stroller as "The New Ride."  That's just it's name now.  Look!  You can see the blaze for the Bluebird Loop.  We're on the right path.  It's a half mile, and it ends right back where we started. 

You might not see any bears or deer with us around, but you can certainly hear the many varieties of birds twittering in the treetops. Perhaps they don't appreciate the toddler babble! Of course the birds will have to cope because we are coming through!

The late afternoon sunlight is filtering through the treetops making patches of light fall across the path and on the layer of ferns that characteristically grow on the forest floor.  It's this time of day when the ferns seem to glow with filtered sunlight. 

 We've come to one of the many birdhouses found here in Timberdoodle.  A timberdoodle is a bird after all. It's also known as the woodcock.  We just learned that today here at the trail. 

It's time to stop for a Geocache.  We don't like to go on a proper hike without doing one!  While Scott searches off path for the cache, let's look at all of the many many burls on the trees right in this area.  They can be caused by mold, insects, or another injury to the tree.  The wood in these burls has an uneven grain, and they are used to make expensive artwork and furniture. 

Scott found the cache dangling from a tree branch, so let's sign the log and move on.  Here is the next Bluebird Loop blaze.  It joins the Woodcock Loop in this section.  

 Here we come to one of the twelve signs that make this loop "interpretive."  This sign is mostly informative, but our favorite one is the one that is accompanied by a patch of mud where you can check for tracks.  We don't see any, so we'll have to come back here again another time. 

Apple trees are a great place to spot wildlife because they come to rely on it as a food source.  We don't see any right now, so we'll just have to keep walking and enjoy the scenery.  

 Right before the end of the loop we find this march covered in lilly pads.  Thanks for hiking with us, and I hope that you enjoyed your visit to Timberdoodle!

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1 comment:

  1. This is a really fun post! I hope you'll share more of your hikes. I'd never heard of the timberdoodle before--either the place or the bird!