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Winter Nature Walk

 

If you just happened to pass by this urban location while driving in your car you would not imagine the secret it hides.

This section of Ohio Route 33 is near one of the busiest intersections in the Columbus, Ohio Metro Area. During rush hour traffic this  bridge over the Scioto River and the intersection are backed up with hundreds of cars in all directions.

On the west side of the Scioto River however, is this gem of a park that just may be Columbus’s best kept secret. The pedestrian sign does not even begin to  hint at the beauty below.

 This small unassuming parking lot and stairwell leads to a magical spot.

Take a break from your stressful day and please join me for a an all too brief time-out from the hassles of modern life.

As we descend the stairs to bottom of the gorge looking to your left you can just see through the trees where the Hayden Run stream empties into the Scioto River.

To the right you can see the remains of water from all of the rain Columbus had this year. Next spring and summer lush green native plants will be blooming on this spot.

As we walk the wooden walkway we find sycamore and buckeye trees along both sides of the gorge.  In the spring and summer you would see several types of ferns, including the rare and endangered Bulblet Bladder fern. It is hard to believe that right under the blue skies in the picture below traffic is passing by. Down here you can neither see it ot hear it.

The sounds of the city are drowned out by the sounds of rippling water and the song birds. Today two red-headed wood peckers were playing in the tree branches above. We will soon forget civilization is right above us.

As we continue our walk along the wooden platform we can see the stream as it heads towards the Scioto River. On a warm summer’s day you may spot several species of turtles in the water or on a rock basking in the sun.

As we slowly stroll along we come upon limestone cliffs.

 

We hear it before we see it. We can kinda, sorta see it through the bare branches.

Then we see the Hayden Run Falls in all its 35 foot glory. We stand in silent awe.

On the walk back we can watch the reflection of the sun as the Hayden Run stream empties into the Scioto River.

And we watch with joy and laughter as some of the many waterfowl that enjoy this spot look for lunch.

 

 Thanks for coming along. I enjoyed your company.

Featured Recipe    Curried Cheese Olive Spread

This is a great recipe.  It is perfect for New Years Eve or New Years Day. It is also perfect for the Super Bowl. In fact it is perfect anytime folks gather together!

It can also be used as an appetizer for sit-down meals. It is perfect for parties. I have made it dozens and dozens of times. It is a favorite of mine and  of many of my guests over the years. Everyone, and I mean e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e,  loves this recipe. I have never had any left over either!!

It should be served warm so I always have plenty in the fridge or freezer to replenish the serving dish. I once had every single one of my guests follow me into the kitchen to wait for a new batch to come out of the oven. I felt like the Pied Piper with seven people scurrying behind me out to the kitchen. These tasty little morsels were gone before I could plate them.

It can be made ahead, days, even up to three months ahead of time. And as usual, it is easy and inexpensive.

I got this recipe from my friend and great cook, Janet in New Jersey. You may remember Janet. She shared her Chicken Creole recipe with us. You can get that recipe by clicking here.

This is what you will need for 48 pieces:

½ cup of mayonnaise (I use less)

1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

1 – 4.5 ounce can of chopped black olives

½ cup chopped green onions

Salt & pepper to taste, optional

½ teaspoon curry powder (sweet, mild, or hot)

6 English Muffins

Here is what you do:

Slice each ofthe muffins in half………….

……..then slice each half into fourths. (More fraction fun for your children or the math challenged. Why are you all looking at me when I say, “math challenged”???)

Place the chopped olives in a bowl.

Wash and finely dice the green onions and add to the bowl.

Add the cheese, the curry, and salt & pepper, if using.

Add half of the mayo;  just enough to moisten and to hold everything together.

Mix well. If you need more mayo add till desired consistency.

Spread mixture on muffin pieces.

Then place each piece on a baking sheet. 

If you are going to freeze for later this is where you will do it. TIP: Freeze the pieces individually while still on the baking sheet for 20-40 minutes or more (See picture) till the spread on top is completely frozen. Then place in a plastic bag. This way the spread will not get all messed up. They will keep up to three months in the freezer.

If you are going to use later that same day, place on baking sheets and refrigerate till guest arrive.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes. I just heat them till the cheese starts to melt. I don’t want the muffins to get too dry.

Plate and set on your buffet table. IF they last that long!!! 

Close up of one piece.

Several pieces on a plate.

Bon appétit!!!

Cost

½ cup of mayonnaise                      $0.22

1 cup cheddar cheese                      $1.42

1 4.5 ounce black olives                   $1.19

½ cup green onions                        $0.67

½ teaspoon curry powder                $0.74

6 English Muffins                             $2.00

Salt & pepper to taste

Total Cost = $6.24
Cost per piece = $0.13
If everyone had 6 pieces this recipe would serve 8 people.

Quote of the Day

May all your troubles during the coming year be as short as your New Year’s resolutions

Unknown

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5 comments to Winter Nature Walk

  • Cindy

    These places are magical..any little spot we leave unsullied produces a bounty of life. I always search for such places.. Can you imagine what would exist w/out the roads etc? Great post!

    • Roberta

      Yes, Cindy, I can imagine. I appreciate everything the Nature Conservancy and other groups like it, do to help save and conserve this beautiful land.

  • What a lovely spot to go for a walk. Wonderful pics too! I would be there as much as possible.

    • Roberta

      You would love it, Susan. You could draw or paint pictures. In the fall you could gather fallen leaves for your art projects.

  • […] forward on my short lunch-time walk I soon come to the main falls. Not quite as dramatic as Hayden Run Falls, but beautiful in its cascading serenity. Hayden Run Falls is about 5 miles to the south of this […]