Upton Morgan State Forest

It was a cold March 3rd and I wanted to find some Skunk Cabbage, which melt through the snow with their own heat.  I knew there were Skunk Cabbage next to the bridge in Upton – Morgan State Forest so off I went.DSCN0029

Skunk Cabbage put out their flowers before they put out leaves.


The flowers are inside the covering, and the smell is supposed to be like rotting flesh but to be honest I didn’t smell it to find out.  They grow in the very wet soggy soil right next to the water.


I accidentally broke off a small flower and, since it was already broken, I opened it up.



You can see the yellow flower as well as the strange insect that was hiding inside.  While hiking I thought someone was pounding in a stake in the forest from the sound but what I found was a large woodpecker.

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All in all, it was an interesting half hour, quarter mile walk.  See other Upton-Morgan posts for maps and more on Skunk Cabbage.


Upton-Morgan State Forest Interpretive Trails

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For a short hike that is good with small children, consider the Upton-Morgan State Forest Interpretive Trails.  (Clink link for map) (click here for text accompanying map) The entire trail takes an adult about fifteen minutes to walk, thirty minutes if you stop and read the signs.

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The forest is right beside route 89 and highway noise is constant, however the forest has chain link fences so children can’t stray into harms way. There are downed trees and root stocks throughout, and a small bridge for trolls to live under (if you enjoy telling your kids such stories).

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At the bridge you will see lots of Skunk Cabbage, named so because if you break off and smell a leaf you will find a bad smell. This plant is one of the first to put through the snow in spring because unlike any other plants I know it produces its own heat to melt through the snow.