I was trying to be arty for the Shoot the Hills competition with this shot of golden ragwort along the Marsh Hollow creek. That’s the bridge to our hillside trail in the background. From April to July, visitors to the Hocking Hills will see clusters of golden ragwort plants in wet ground, low woods, swamps and meadows, and especially along our many forested roads in Hocking County.
This ragwort is native to North America and can be distinguished from a lot of look-alike plants because it blooms much earlier than they do (always helpful for us amateur wildflower enthusiasts who get excited about a wildflower find only to discover that it doesn’t bloom until August). Another helpful tip for identification is that the basal leaves are heart-shaped, long-stemmed and often reddish beneath. I had to pull away a thick layer of leaves to find this plant’s basal leaves.
WebMD has an interesting write-up about the medicinal uses of golden ragwort, which include diabetes, high blood pressure, fluid retention & pain during childbirth. After reading the side effects, especially effects on the liver, I think I’ll give it a pass.
At this time of year, Marsh Hollow has a beautiful display of wildflowers, making April and May two of the most beautiful months of the year.
The Hocking Hills Tourism Assoc, with the Hocking Hills State Park, Lake Hope State Park, and Friends of Hocking Hills, have introduced Voluntourism! One Saturday a month volunteer opportunities will be offered at either Hocking Hills State Park or Lake Hope. Intrigued? Check out the schedule at www.1800hocking.com/page1326834271.
Click on the title link to discover all the wonderful things to do in the Hocking Hills this December. Ice skating, cookie classes, parades, and much more. We’re going to try to hike the Lake Hope Holiday Trail of Lights this weekend. Note: that some events in this link are in the past. We’ll post a new link later this week.
Dave and I hiked the Ash Cave to Cedar Falls trail yesterday evening, perfect day for a late afternoon/early evening hike. We saw exactly 2 people on the trail. Well, we saw them twice, once on the way out and once on the way back, but they were still just 2 people. The forest was absolutely lovely in the late day sun, and our tranquility was complete, except for those 2 people! By the way, this trail is 3 miles long, so a total of 6 to get back to the parking area.
We were thrilled to see that the Ash Cave Fire Tower is now open to climb. It’s located on this trail, but also accessible from a parking area at the corner of State Route 374 and Chapel Ridge Road. Built in 1934, the tower is 80 feet tall and you can see far and wide from the top. We were a little concerned about the fragility of some of the platforms at the end of each flight of steps. They appear to be the original wood. While most of the steps have been replaced, it’s obvious some of the platform boards are really, really old. In fact, on the first platform, two boards have fallen or been kicked off. I’ll report to Forestry today.
TODAY THROUGH SATURDAY – 86th Annual Fireman’s Old Time Festival in Laurelville; entertainment, rides, fish fry, parade all in the streets of Laurelville
FRIDAY – Talent Show at 5:30pm; Black Water Run bluegrass band at 8pm; midway opens at 6:30pm.
SATURDAY – baby contest at 10am; kid’s big wheel race at noon; midway “matinee” from 1 to 5pm – all rides are one price; Queen’s Tea at 3pm; Adelphi Community Band at 4:30pm; Grand Parade at 6pm; Ohio’s most expensive cake auction at 9pm; square dancing at 9:45pm; Rt 56 & 180 in Laurelville.
We love the fish fry and will visit for multiple meals. And the local church ladies have a pie booth with the best pies ever. Buy by the slice or a whole pie.
Marsh Hollow has a page on facebook now. I’ve been having a good time with the whole facebook thing (connecting with friends and family) and decided Marsh Hollow needed to be up to date too. Since the page is only 2 days old, there’s not much there, but hopefully we collect some fans and reviews. Click on the picture below to see what it’s all about.
There’s No Place Like Home offers a great alternative to standard dog boarding, specifically a lot of attention and personalized services, and all in the beautiful Hocking Hills.
Recently, Dave and I went on our own almost 2 week vacation. While our ancient dog, Juice, “boarded” with my son and daughter-in-law, we decided to board Mac & Bode at There’s No Place Like Home. Of course, I checked it out first and knew from the moment I met the proprietor, Anne, that the boys would be well cared for. The facility is located about 20 minutes from our home, and is even closer to U.S. 33. It includes a large outdoor playground with toys and structures to climb on, an indoor play area, as well as a separate room for the kennels. Mac & Bode were lucky enough to be assigned to the “family” kennel, which was definitely large enough for two large dogs (and Bode is extra-large).
When we picked them up at the end of their stay, there was none of the usual crazy excitement to get out of the kennel. They looked great and acted so normal you would never know they’d been in a kennel for 2 weeks. Of course, Anne and her husband gave them so much attention, it appears they didn’t even miss us. Plus, they got complimentary baths, which probably was not on either of their “must have” lists!
There’s No Place Like Home also offers dog day care. Both services, boarding and day care, are offered at several levels so you can choose as much attention that you want your dog to have. Prices vary for this.
If you are vacationing in the Hocking Hills, and don’t have a pet friendly cabin like Marsh Hollow, No Place Like Home would be a great place to take your dog. You could keep Fido with you on the trails, then take him to the kennel for the night.
Although I’ve had a passing interest in yoga over the years, lately I’ve become very interested and started looking for classes. I tried a cruise ship class, which was great because it was small, but the very well built instructor only looked at himself (can’t blame him really). Then I took my daughter and daughter-in-law to Yoga on High in Columbus for a beginning class. I really liked the instructor, but there were at least 25 people in the class. Too many, so I went back to my tapes and DVD’s.
Then I started to notice that the spas and massage therapy places in the Hocking Hills were starting to offer yoga classes. I’ve been going to the Inn at Cedar Falls on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. for a very small class – only me so far! When the weather is nice, we practice in the garden which is lovely. Then, Blue Valley Massage, which offers massage services in our cabin and many others has started to offer a 6 p.m. class on Tuesdays. Joppa, the spa at Glenlaurel Inn, is offering yoga classes on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
So my timing has been good!
Here’s a link to Yoga Journal’s “Pose of the Day”:
One of our recent guests turned me on to a cool book sharing web site called BookCrossing.com. She left behind a recently read book, which she had picked up at a “crossingzone” in Canada. Inside were instructions for going online to register that I’d picked up this book (by its unique BookID) and what I was going to do with it. Since I’m a big reader, I love just about anything to do with books and sharing books.
You’ll have to make a reservation at Marsh Hollow to use our Crossing Zone, but you can stop by the Hilltop Bake Shoppe Tuesday through Saturday to look through the growing collection and pick up a new read. Or you can drop off a book if you’d like to -either already registered at BookCrossing.com or one you just want to leave behind.
And if you stop by the Hilltop Bake Shoppe, try the sour cream doughnuts. I guarantee these are the BEST sour cream doughnuts anywhere. And as I’ve mentioned in the blog before, the pizza is the best in the Hocking Hills.
Friends Beth & Chuck recently hiked through the Rock House area to enjoy spring wildflowers. They report that trillium, jack-in-th-pulpit, Dutchman’s-breeches and many others are on full display. I’ll have to get over there.
In the meantime, I hiked into the woods behind our house (same woods our Marsh Hollow cabin is near) and found the following beauties today:
Common blue violet
May-apple (not blooming yet, but getting ready)
Poor man’s pepper
Smooth yellow violet
Sweet white violet
I can only hope I got the names right because I’m using the 1968 edition of A Field Guide to Wildflowers of Northeastern and North-central North America by Roger Tory Peterson and Margaret McKenny. Things can change in that amount of time.