Thursday, May 14, 2015

Rockwoods Reservation

We are still hanging out in the St.Louis area, however that does not preclude us finding something to write about.  Rockwoods is located in western St.Louis County.  About 20 years ago we visited it rather frequently with our children.  For all of us a large yawning cavern with two massive rooms was the main attraction.  John and I decided it would be great to see the park again.

At the entrance to the Visitor's Center of the park two beautiful blooming trees greeted us.  One was a tulip tree and the other a yellowwood tree, the blossoms of which are pictured above.  In the center we learned about the history of the park, the land has certainly gone through many interesting changes over a period of 200 years.  Evidence of that past can be found in the park, and includes such relics as old crumbling lime quarries, railroad berms and building foundations.  Cobb,Wright and Case were mining companies that purchased the land in 1868 for $100.00 an acre.  Later Glencoe Lime Company built a railroad spur on the land.  That usual policy for mining companies was to blast and destroy the quarries but Glencoe went into bankrupcy in 1933 and left an unstable cavern behind.  John and I took the trail leading to the cavern, expecting to see it as we remebered it from about twenty years ago.  We came close to the end of the trail and still had not seen that cavern.  What we did come upon was a small opening in a stone wall, entrance to which was fenced off.  The trail to it was over grown with weeds.
Later we learned at the center that the cavern had collapsing walls and needed to be closed.  Now only bats find refuge there.  We still had a wonderful walk as the park has deep ravines, tall rocky cliffs and a shallow creek running through it.  We heard a variety of birds quite nosily filling the air with their songs.  We also saw a woodpecker busily flitting from tree to tree looking for food.  The area has been designated by Audubon Missouri as an Important Bird Area.  Wildflowers are in abundance, we saw one particular type of butterfly frequently who seemed to be enjoying them.

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