Tom and I had a lovely walk admiring the wildflowers at Shale Hollow Preserve last week. We have been trying to get out to walk in one of the metro parks or Delaware County preserves every week.
We have been to Shale Hollow Preserve several times already but it appears I haven’t written about it. We went walking there in December, but I was pretty sick at the time and didn’t enjoy it. (I was sick from the middle of November until the middle of January. If Covid had been in the US at that time, I would swear I had it. Fever, trouble breathing, and a cough that wouldn’t go away.) I had a much better time in July.
Shale Hollow is one of the beautiful Delaware County parks, located just off US 23 north of Lewis Center. The Shale Hollow creek runs through 20 to 40 foot cliffs of shale and has a shale bottom. There are two loop trails, each a mile long, through the park and a natural play area. We were there on a weekday afternoon and lots of kids were playing in the creek and enjoying hopping from rock to rock.
We walked both of the loop trails. I love the cool oak forest, but I enjoyed the meadow even more because of the wildflowers. The meadow is reclaimed farmland, so it will eventually be oak forest also. But on the day we visited, the bees and butterflies were enjoying all the flowers along the trail. One of the nice things about being in Ohio is knowing the names of most of the wildflowers.
I am always thrilled and amazed by the effusive abundance of wildflowers in a prairie meadow. God never stints on showing off. Some of the flowers are big and showy and some are so tiny you have to bend down to see them. Wild blackberry bushes were everywhere in the meadow – the birds will really enjoy those in another couple of weeks. The branches were just starting to bow down from the weight of the fruit. I tried one of the berries that was the right color – but still very tart. Not ripe yet!
We had a wonderful walk at Shale Hollow. It is a place we will enjoy again and again.