Monday, November 2, 2009

Rock Cut State Park

Two weekends ago, my wife and I went out to Rockford, Illinois to help my in-laws with some different things around their house.  I ended up creating a dry-well for one of their underground drainage pipes to drain into.  It was not as hard as I thought it would be, because after digging a hole about four feet deep, I hit sand.  That was a wonderful surprise considering the fact that if I was going to do the same thing in my yard, I would have hit clay at about two feet deep.  I also moved some gravel and added it to different places.

While I was doing that, my wife went to a local orchard there and came back with a good six bags of apples (which later turned into several quarts of very tasty apple sauce).  When both she and I were done with our different activities, we were able to go to Rock Cut State Park and observe how fall was hitting the state just about and hour and a half west of us.  (Interestingly enough, they are in a different zone than we are for growing plants).  There were a lot of cool things that I saw are some of them:

This is a fungi of some sort we saw at the beginning of the walk.  Perhaps the Nature Nerd, Chicago Gardener, or someone else will know what type of fungi this is.  It reminds me of that egg-shaped building in London.

The Rockford area was definitely further along in the autumn season than where we live was.  There were a lot more leaves on the ground than in the forest preserve by our house.  That being said, there were several trees like this one.  The colors of certain trees (usually maples it seems) have been amazing this year. 

I loved the shape of this tree.

It was really a day to see different types of fungi.  I think this is another version of the one pictured above.  Maybe after it has started to open, but I could be wrong.

There were shelf fungi all over the place.

Finally, to find this was quite a surprise to me.  I didn't expect to see flowers and berries on a tree.  They were really beautiful.  If anyone knows what type of berries these are...

All in all, it was a nice walk.  We saw a few other things, such as a mass of what looked like milkweed bugs all over a rusted railing.  We also found a path that was supposed to be a bridge turned into a ford of sorts.  If I had had my boots, we would have gone across.  Maybe next time.  Rock Cut State Park has a lot more to explore.


  1. 1. Looks like Inky cap or shaggy mane. Can't tell for sure.
    2. Hey. You don't need apples. You got your own! If you want ours you can have them, but if you don't, I do have other co-workers who will take them...

  2. Ahh...I thought you were looking for something to do with the apple butter... :)

  3. Oh, well you can have some of that, too. Or, you can make your own with the apples. It's pretty easy, since you already can, it's actually a lot like making applesauce. I just used the recipe on the Ball book.

    Do you think its weird that we're having this internet conversation given that we could just, you know, talk?

  4. Yes, 'tis a little weird. :) Do you have any idea what the berries are?

  5. We think it's an Eastern burningbush.

  6. I tagged you for the Honest Scrap award, if you want it. Go to to read more about it.