In this third part, we continue hiking Treman gorge, approaching Lucifer Falls, viewing another waterfall further downstream and returning to the trailhead.
Tiny Trumpet, unknown
I have never achieved a satisfactory capture of the waterfall in the Devil’s Kitchen, a place where the creek flow is diverted south by a projecting ridge. Less than 100 feet later the easterly direction is regained where the water plummets over Lucifer Falls.
The annual in fall of rock in Devil’s Kitchen uproots and crushes plants growing there. There is scant soil, the roots of this shiny purple trumpet bloom took hold in a microscopic crack. The plant is so thin, the flower so tiny it is lucky my gaze found it.
After searching all my plant identification references, this plan is unknown to me. Please help with identification. The bloom is 1/4 inch long.
Not far away, these asters grow from a slightly wider crack. Pam pointed them out to me. I was drawn by the striking color difference of the heads growing from a single stalk.
As trail winds around the ridge a stone wall rises on the right and for good reason. The stream shortly reaches the brink of Lucifer Falls, 115 feet high. Gorge walls fall away, the trail steepens. Here is the view from the trail next to the brink.
At hand, on the right, a growth of ferns has survived many seasons. Flowering plants are, in geological time (across billions of years), a relatively recent development compared to these non-flowering ferns. The first flowering plants appears 120 million years ago compared to the first ferns, 360 million years ago. Oddly enough, the spread of flowering plants affected evolution of ferns, an increase of fern speciation in parallel to the rise of flower plants.
While descending the stairs next to the falls brink, look to the right to see this ecosystem, a result of water seeping from the sedimentary rock stratification.
Here you can see how, at lower flow levels, the inactive sections of the fall lip become a garden. In our climate, the entire brink is active for rare and brief intervals during spring thaws. Note how, closer to the active brink, the grasses give way to mosses. Where grasses grow the brink is almost never active.
The trail wall is a lighter color than the cliff, this is how you can see, on the right, the steep trail descent.
Pam and I turned around here. This is some work I did August 2014 of a notable fall downstream from Lucifer. I used the 24 mm Canon lens here, cropping the image. My goal was to include the stair, for interest, with sunlight on the upper stairs; the water in shade.
Myrtle borders the trail as it rises from the gorge entrance.
Tree trunks fallen from the gorge walls are left to decay, restoring the soil. The trunks are covered by moss among a thick growth of myrtle and a few ferns.
To finish, here is an image that may broaden your understanding of sunflowers. These smaller, ornamental sunflowers are, at first, difficult to place. Look carefully at the center, composed of many tiny flowers (florets). In crop sunflowers each of these becomes a seed. In this image, shiny beetles are feasting.
The End of this Evening Hike in Treman Gorge
Copyright 2017 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved