So, I left Pickaway County for Licking County, specifically for Dawes Arboretum and Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve.
|We came across a family of White-Tailed deer, including a few young ones. Even though I see deer a lot, it's still a treat to see them.|
Dawes Arboretum was spectacular. It was the first time I had ever been there. Dawes Arboretum was established in 1929 by the namesake Beman Dawes and his wife. Nowadays, it has different sections dedicated to everything from Japanese Gardens, to one of the world's largest collections of Holly, to wetlands, to one of the northernmost populations of native Bald-cypress swamps in North America, and a lot more. There are miles of trails and over 5,000 different types of woody plants. It really is an amazing place, and I will have to go back in Spring and Summer.
Next, I went to nearby Blackhand SNP.
This is Blackhand Rock. You might have heard of Blackhand Sandstone, which is the type of sandstone common throughout this area of Eastern Ohio, including the Hocking Hills, here, and so on. It's so called because of what used to be on this rock. The first settlers in this area came across a large petroglyph of a black hand on this cliff side and named it Blackhand Gorge. The petroglyph was Native American in origin (possibly giving directions to nearby Flint Ridge), and sadly it was blasted away when the Ohio and Erie Canal was being built in this area around 1828. The cliffs and rocks were impassible, so the Licking River, which is the river seen here, had to be used to continue through this area. The rocks along the river had to be blasted to make the river wide enough.
In the end, this was an awesome trip, and I highly recommend going to see these places if you haven't already. Dawes Arboretum is incredibly educational and Blackhand Gorge SNP is steeped in history.
Another post will be coming up soon about some of the plants and animals seen on the trip, so stay tuned!
Edit: Here's the post about some of the plants I encountered!