A beaver has been busy working on a big tree on the trail.
mature Aspen tree
This is the tree that the beaver has been working on. What a prize it will be when it topples. Beavers use their oversized teeth to work on the trunk over several days. Their hope is that mother nature will come along and help. A strong wind would take this tree down finishing the beaver’s work.
sawed off log
Sometimes the trail can get overgrown or maybe a tree has fallen on the trail. When that happens you want to carefully search for where the trail continues. One sure way to know you are on the right track is to look for logs that have been intentionally cut by a saw.
Another trail marker is the Rock Cairn. These landmarks are usually placed by the trail to indicate the correct path to take.
Parts of the trail goes over ledge rock where there isn’t much vegetation to mark the trail. This is where rock cairns come in handy. Look for the next pile of rocks and you know you are on the right track.
The Vermilion River is a designated “wild river”. There are campsites along the river and a few portages around rapids and waterfalls. No permits are needed to travel this 30 mile section of river that connects Crane Lake to Lake Vermilion. All you need is a canoe.
My #1 all time favorite wildflower: Pip – sis – sue – wah.
pips in hand
This small wildflower is another evergreen plant of the forest floor. The leaves are leathery and do not fall of the plant in the winter. If you dug down through the snow in the winter, you would find the green leaves of this plant.
close up image of Pipsissewa
buds of the Pipsissewa wildflower
The above photo shows old dried up flower seed pods from last year, and new flowerbuds formed this year.
My second favorite wildflower, the Indian Pipe, is blooming right now. It is a really good year for this unique wildflower and it’s all over the place over at the Vermilion Gorge Hiking Trail. (stayed tuned for my #1 favorite wildflower)
Ever wonder what the nodding heads of Indian Pipe hides? Here is a damaged flower that was lying on the trail. I would never pick any of these wild plants – they’re just too rare and delicate to disturb. They require very specialized soil ingredients in just the right balance to grow and thrive.
The flowering plant is completely white because they require no chlorophyll to grow – chlorophyll is the component that makes plants green.