Thursday, January 13, 2022

Okehocking Preserve (1/13/2022)

Thursday, January 13, 2022
Sunny and 50 degrees F: time for a hike, this time at Okehocking Preserve. We followed the 2.5 mile self-guided trail walk that connected interpretive markers.
Aaron Garrett Farmhouse (c 1802) on land that was part
of the 1703 land grant from William Penn, designated for
the Okehocking tribe of the indigenous Lenni Lenape,
which they apparently used as a summer station for fishing
 as no evidence of a historic First Nations village was found
Barn foundation remains that one day may
become the Okehocking Nature Center
View of the meadows across the Delchester Run valley,
taken from a hilltop wood platform called a hawk watch stand
built by the Okehocking Nature Center
The Blue Trail takes us through the forest of
beech, shagbark hickory, red and white oaks,
tulip poplar and red maple
Hmm, Penn's Preserve is a neighboring residential
development, yet this is a public utility wastewater
treatment spray field within Okehocking Preserve
Cladonia cristatella/Red Cap Lichen on the wood fence
Monitoring well #3 is another indication
we are at a wastewater treatment facility
Delchester Run
View south with a wastewater filtration pond, the
Garrett Farmhouse in middle distance, and a
collection of purple martin birdhouses
Okehocking Preserve is part of Audubon designated Upper Ridley/Crum Important Bird Area #72, which also includes Ridley Creek State Park and Tyler Arboretum. Over 140 species of birds have been documented at Okehocking.
Those are faux birds at the purple martin houses (KSS)
Another wastewater filtration pond with aerators (KSS)
There must also be Juglans nigra/
Eastern Black Walnut trees here!
A large bird house, perhaps for the
Megascops asio/Eastern Screech Owl
or Falco sparverius/American Kestrel
The bird house opening is about 3 inches in diameter
This rock has some significance, but the paper sign was shredded
View southeast over the filtration pond with aerators
Next to the pond are a series of stone walls -
wastewater filtration ditches? (KSS)
A directional trail marker is on a downed tree!
A large downed tree's root system lifted the base rocks
Kent stands next to the downed tree's root ball with rocks
Interpretive marker #6 - we had fortunately
printed the text for the markers
The trail goes from mud to icy mud!
Ridley Creek is somewhat protected from pollution of
residential development due to tree canopy and riparian
buffers (land in its natural state adjacent to a stream)
Stone retaining walls protect the creek from bank erosion (KSS)
Modern ice sculpture
The trail through the creek bottom land
Goulder's Barn, an 18C stone bank barn
Goulder's Barn, where you can determine that the barn
can be entered on three levels (KSS)
Bat house (KSS)
Ridley Creek
Where Delchester Run meets Ridley Creek