Tuesday, October 30, 2012

La Barque #2

Sly Dog

This tree captivated me.  I took so many pictures of it and couldn't decide which one to put on here.  The sun was going down and it was glowing in an extra special way.

Curly Ear-Hair Profile Of A Beauty

This is the second time hiking here.  The first was for Jasper's BD and he wanted to go hiking near a stream. August was hot and we were in the midst of a drought, so finding a stream was difficult.  But i searched through MDC for "permanent stream" and came up with this place.  Of course, it was dry as a desert.  But we liked it enough in 100+ temperatures to come back for more.

La Barque Conservation Area is 639 acres of  Missouri beauty, about a 45 minute drive for us.

Water carves cliffs and overhangs in soft sandstone bedrock and ferns, mosses, greens are everywhere.  

We had the best time discovering holes in the creek bed that appeared to be reflecting pools of water, but were really holes.  Down below the overhang was where the kids decided to set up camp.  A couple turtles also found solace there.  
Dense forests contain numerous sandstone and limestone glades. On a cool fall day, these are the best places to nap in the sun and find sunning lizards.  We didn't see any snakes and we were looking. 
Mike Leahy, MDC Natural Areas Coordinator, says:

"This area lies at the heart of the LaBarque Creek Conservation Opportunity Area. LaBarque Creek supports 36 native fish species (including five native darters) – the highest diversity of native fishes found in tributaries to the Meramec River in Jefferson and St. Louis counties... 
The natural area also contains a mix of over a dozen terrestrial natural communities that collectively support 499 vascular plant species, 115 moss and liverwort species, and 49 breeding bird species."
A super place and new favorite.

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