Elephant Rocks and Pickle Springs

Josh and I went on a short trip last week before the Baker Creek Spring Festival, where I was speaking. Our trip took us to Elephant Rocks State Park, Johnson Shut-Ins, Mammoth State Park and Pickle Springs Nature Preserve. At Pickle Springs we found a colony of unidentified plants (below). Funny, I can pass a dozen people on the street and not feel I need to know everyone's names, but when I cross paths with a plant I don't know, I just have to find the name. Now I know, these are American Colombo (Frasera spp.).
American columbo - Frasera caroliniensis
Perfect time to walk in the woods, so many wildflowers, mushrooms and trees in bloom.
Stream from Pickle Springs
Elephant rocks, atop the mountain, amazing.
One of many "kissing rocks" at Pickle Springs
Rattlesnake orchid, a plant which doesn't grow where I live.
"Fat man's trap", I was glad I could pass through easily.
Ferns at the base of the rocks, I just love seeing these in spring!
Even though our morel season is over in the Ozarks, they were still finding them up near St. Louis.
I always think of my mother when I see dogwoods in bloom.
Turtles sunning themselves in the old quarry at Elephant Rocks.
What amazing things nature creates!