I went today expecting the Autumn colors to be over and wildlife to be gone or dormant. It was a pleasant surprise to see quite a bit of color still there. The trail was also loaded with snakes today, 10 that I remember. Most of them were Garter Snakes however I also found two Red-Bellied Snakes. The first one (first 2 images) was found at the sand prairie and only about 3.5″ long. The second one was found at signpost 10 and was roughly 6″ long. In 2009 found a Red-Bellied Snake on the trail but didn’t know what kind it was at the time and it slipped away before I could see its belly. This time I made sure to photograph it!
The Garter Snakes I found were mostly along the Marl Pits. Admittedly I don’t know how to tell different types of Garters apart however the stripes below the eye of the Garter in the first picture look like the Plains Garter Snakes I see quite a bit where I live. If it is a Plains, its the first one I’ve seen at the trail.
Finally, I have some scenery shots I took at various spots along the trail.
Marl Pit bridge view.
The bird house Jon put up this past summer. (ed. note I Haven’t seen any tenants yet!)
Cloud gazing. (ed. note, if you love clouds, check out the pics on this incredible site!)
The Big Spring and the steps leading up the trail from it. (ed. note, this location is begging for an extended time exposure shot ala Toby Gant)
The view from the deck leading to the Emerald Spring.
The old Hotel/Cheese Factory/Sawmill site.
Ruins on the cut-off trail. (ed. note, in a recent post I speculated that these ruins were part of the marl pit factory because of a long concrete structure with a rectangular hole in it. Pati said it looked like a chimney that had simply fallen over. hmmm… applying Occam’s razor, I’d have to agree with Pati.)
The make-shift bridge connecting the cut-off trail to the main loop trail at the marl pit factory.
Near signpost #2.
I was lucky enough to visit The Springs four times this year and can’t wait to return next spring!
(ed. note Thanks Jon! Pati and I were at The Springs on Nov. 3 too. Maybe next time we can coordinate and meet there.)
See you at The Springs!