A few spring-blooming plants that have colorful leaves that persist throughout the winter were also obvious amongst the orange and brown leaf litter. One of these is Sharp-lobed Hepatica (Hepatica acutiloba).
The geologic features in these parks are also quite interesting.
At Matthiessen State Park, we came across an interesting trail map. I guess the map wasn't as interesting as the rant that that someone had written on it. A bit ironic, too...
As Lindsay mentioned, we did some birding while we were on our trip. Our trip list of 49 species follows:
Great Blue Heron
As we drove home on Sunday, we tallied 18 Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) between Utica, Illinois and North Liberty, Indiana! That's approximately 6 per hour!
Thank you, too, Lindsay, for a wonderful 7 years and a great weekend!