Thursday, July 30, 2015

Summer Green and the Little Miami River at Clifton Gorge...

With a dew point of 77 degrees and the temperature pushing 90, yesterday was decidedly tropical, so it was especially nice to slip into the cool embrace of the steep walls of Clifton Gorge, where summer green filters through the trees and settles on every available surface, and rushing waters create an ancient atmosphere of escape and respite...

The lush green trees, undergrowth and moss glow electric in the deep shadows. It is stunningly beautiful.
The Little Miami River rushes wildly through the green corridor at Clifton Gorge. As you descend the wooden steps at the beginning of the trail, you feel like you're entering another world. 

The profusion of lush foliage and moss is appealing to the senses and almost seems to glow electric in the deep shadows. You want to linger and listen as the river rushes past every plant, moss-covered rock, and watery seep trickling down the cliff.  

...special things grow here, simply put. The riparian corridor at this stretch of the river holds rare boreal relics left over from seeds deposited by the Wisconsinan glacier meltwaters over 10,000 years ago. The steep cliffs of the gorge form a cooler microclimate that allow northern plants such as Eastern Hemlock and White Cedar to survive.

Dark Silurian dolomite limestone walls add drama to an already stunningly beautiful backdrop. 

To the Little Miami River," by William H. Venable, 1836

Romantic the rocky and fern-scented regions,
          Miami, the grots where thy brambles begin,
 By cedars and hemlocks, in evergreen legions,
        With silence and twilight seclusion shut in.

There darkling recesses in miniature mountains
          Recall to my fancy the haunts of the gnome;
     There fabled Undina might rise from  the fountains,
     Or sport in the water-falls glistening foam.

Click here for a pdf brochure and map of Clifton Gorge by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Click here for a pdf of "The Ohio Naturalist," Vol IV, February, 1904, for the article "The Topography and Geology of Clifton Gorge," by W. E. Wells.

For information on Ohio's Silurian period, click here for "Geology of Ohio -- The Silurian," by Michael C. Hansen, or here for an article by Ohio History Central.


Kylee Baumle said...

It's been ages since I've been to Clifton Gorge, but this makes me want to go back. It's less than two hours from here, so it's not like it's that far away, yet it looks SO much different than here in Northwest Ohio, where it's pancake flat farmland. We enjoy going to Hocking Hills for the same reason, but Clifton Gorge is closer. Hmmm... maybe a day trip is in order!

Roy Norris said...

Hi Kelly,
I often wondered what this Little Miami River you mention frequently looks like.
Looks a great place to walk along and observe nature.

Kelly said...

@Kylee - Hi Kylee! We are about an hour from Clifton Gorge. I wish we were closer, but an hour isn't too bad at all. I can't wait to go back. I might be there this weekend with Rick and Matty!

@Roy - You're right. I don't show enough shots of the river itself. I only show the birds, flowers, and insects along the river! The river at Clifton Gorge is only about 20 miles from its headwaters, so it is much narrower at this point with more rapids and waterfalls. Down by me, the river is much wider with a smoother ride!

Roy said...

Lovely! And oh how I wish I could have had such a place handy around here the last few days!

Sue said...

Very serene and beautiful. I shall add it to our list of "to-do's"!!

Kelly said...

@Roy - It's great. I really enjoyed sinking into all that green!!

@Sue - I hope you make it down. You will love it. Clifton Gorge connects with John Bryan State Park...lots of hiking!

Tammie Lee said...

hello Kelly,
looks like a perfect place to be on a hot day. It is hot here too, but not humid.
middle of the day has me enjoying the cool of the cabin.

that is a wonderful poem. thank you.

Kelly said... really is, Tammie! Rick and I went there today. It was Rick's first time there, and he loved it. We will be back. (If I had your cabin in the woods, I think I'd enjoy it in the afternoon heat as well!!)

Lois Evensen said...

What a beautiful place! Your images are so lovely.

Kelly said...

...thanks, Lois! :-)