WWOOFing Part 4: Searching for Signs of Spring on Fiery Gizzard Trail

The first day after my return I got to go on a hike with my WWOOF host Jonathan in search of signs of spring out at Fiery Gizzard in South Cumberland State Park. As an independent sustainability and biodiversity specialist, he is constantly surveying forests and other habitats for wildlife and plants. This means I get to go hike around a lot and generally just check our cool stuff. It’s awesome. Really, just the variety of projects I get to be involved with is pretty amazing; I love how I can be spending the morning working in the library writing grants and then be hiking off-trail in the middle of the woods looking for putty root orchid in the middle of the afternoon. Or cleaning out a barn and working on the house and then going to a board meeting for the food bank in the evening. I promise I’ll get to telling you everything I’m working on eventually. But anyway, that day we were off to Fiery Gizzard looking for signs of spring and salamanders in particular. The hike was incredible, most of it along the clear blue creeks that feed the falls. I just love this area on the Cumberland Plateau and I really love Fiery Gizzard Creek.

Grundy Forest Day Loop, Fiery Gizzard, South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee

Grundy Forest Day Loop, Fiery Gizzard, South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee

Small falls over the shale at a Fiery Gizzard Creek crossing, Grundy Forest Day Loop, South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee

Small falls over the shale at a Fiery Gizzard Creek crossing, Grundy Forest Day Loop, South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee

Fiery Gizzard Creek, Grundy Forest Day Loop, South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee

Fiery Gizzard Creek, Grundy Forest Day Loop, South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee

Fiery Gizzard Creek, Grundy Forest Day Loop, South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee

Fiery Gizzard Creek, Grundy Forest Day Loop, South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee

Trail of Grundy Forest Day Loop, Fiery Gizzard, South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee

Trail of Grundy Forest Day Loop, Fiery Gizzard, South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee

Me on bridge, Fiery Gizzard Trail, South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee

Me on bridge, Fiery Gizzard Trail, South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee

Trees and shale bluffs, Fiery Gizzard Trail, South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee

Trees and shale bluffs, Fiery Gizzard Trail, South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee

Fiery Gizzard Creek, South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee

Fiery Gizzard Creek, South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee

Jonathan hunting for stuff under the rocks, Fiery Gizzard Trail, South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee

Jonathan hunting for stuff under the rocks, Fiery Gizzard Trail, South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee

Cranefly orchid, Fiery Gizzard Trail, South Cumberland State Park, Tennesseee

Cranefly orchid, Fiery Gizzard Trail, South Cumberland State Park, Tennesseee

Sycamore Falls, Fiery Gizzard Trail, South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee

Sycamore Falls, Fiery Gizzard Trail, South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee

Fiery Gizzard Trail, South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee

Fiery Gizzard Trail, South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee

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