Shenandoah Valley Hike

January 24th, 2008

Last weekend, my family spent the long weekend down in the Shenandoah Valley. Instead of skiing, we decided to hike up the mountain, and follow a trail along the mountain ridge. The view from up there was incredible, allowing us to take in the whole resort all at once.

Shenandoah Valley

In addition to a beautiful view, the mountain elements there were very interesting as well. We got to see the winter versions of many of the summertime plants and growths. The trees were covered with mosses and lichens, but instead of maintaining their usual color, they were pale, matching the surrounding snow and winter sky.

Winter Lichens

The trail was completely rock laden, necessitating that we watch our step through the snow to avoid slipping on any hidden rocks below.

Shenandoah Valley

Some greenery managed to show through the ubiquitous snow cover, such as the moss below. There was also some green mountain grass frozen in the snow.

Mossy Snow Rock

As usual, there were many scenes that could easily be inspiration for an aquascape. The rock formations would make a lovely African cichlid rockscape. Can’t you just see the gaps being filled in with anubias, java fern, and bolbitus in the rocks below?

Shenandoah Valley

Speaking of ferns, I’ve always loved finding patches of forest that are covered with wild ferns. We saw a few places like that up on the mountain ridge, but unfortunately, they were all busy weathering the cold. I hope to get back to this trail sometime in warmer weather to see the ferns in their full glory.

Wintery Fern

There were also huge patches of mountain laurel in amongst some sparse pine trees. In combination with the rocks and snow, there were some really nice photo opportunities.

Shenandoah Valley

The mountain laurel still had the remains from some late flower buds or berries. The leaves were still green, and formed nice bushes along the path.

Mountain Berries

The rocks were usually set in relatively straight lines, as if something had slid over top of them in a uniform direction. I’m not sure if this is the case or not, but I suspect that this is exactly what happened with glaciers.

Shenandoah Valley

Finally, some pine cones were still on the trees, which I enjoyed taking pictures of.

Pine Cone

I hope you enjoyed my pictures and tale of our mountain hike. It was quite cold (16F degrees), but we were heavily bundled up, and had a fantastic time.

One Response to “Shenandoah Valley Hike”

  1. L Says:

    Your amazing photos make me want to go back. It was so beautiful, and you captured the smallest of details perfectly.