Today's hike began in the Lobby of the Lodge. We had 47 walkers and 3 dogs. Today we drove out to Council Overhang parking lot and walked into Kaskakia and Ottawa Canyons and into Council Overhang. Some then walked the "Swamp trail" to Illinois Canyon parking area and then walked into the canyon from there. Some did move their cars so they didn't have to battle the boot sucking mud on the "Swamp trail" When I came in to work this morning I couldn't help but stop and take a couple of photos representing the coming of the leaves and the beauty of the morning.

Best photo of the hike today.
Edna's Tree (back entrance to the park)

Entering the Lodge

Poison Ivy is out and doing well. "Leaves of three, leave them be", better yet – "If its green leave it be" (You don't need to be in the green stuff to enjoy the park) Stay on the trails!

Wild Geranium is at its peak. This patch is immediately to the left when starting on the trail to Ottawa/Kaskaskia trail

Jack in the Pulpits are also everywhere.
Nodding Trillium

"The Boot"

We are almost all in Council Overhang. There was 47 of us, and there was plenty of room for more.

View of Council Overhang looking out.

Virginia Bluebells are on their way out, they will peak again next year. So sorry if you missed it.

Today we went into Kaskaskia first then Ottawa Canyon
Kaskaskia always is good for a photo.

The "Mystery Plant" from last week now has a name "Swamp Saxifraga" It grows on the canyon walls. I have noticed it in Kaskaskia and French Canyon.

Here is a string of the "Swamp Saxifraga" Thanks Jared, for helping with the name!

Virginia Waterleaf is just starting to flower

There are a few Squirrel Corn plants still hanging on

Ottawa canyon is always mesmerizing.

My friend Carey came for a visit from Kansa and joined us today for the hike.

West wall of Ottawa Canyon

These are the best boots for this trail, today.

Only when we wear our boots are we called the "Starved Rock Rocketts"

There was a part of a tree down on the walk bridge going into the canyons. By the time you read this it will be all cleaned up.

Doll's Eyes / White Baneberry – In the summer, the white fuzzy stuff will turn into white berries. They will look like a doll's eyes, hence the name.

Iris, may even be called a Swamp Iris. I believe these will be yellow. Will have to keep an eye out.

Little bit of Wild garlic on the "Swamp Trail" (I think)

Found this skull on the parking lot when coming out of the Swamp Trail in Illinois Canyon

A patch of Prairie Trillium in Illinois Canyon. This was just a sampling of what is growing here. Just amazing!

Blue Phlox is holding on for a few more days.

With 47 people, this hiker found a quiet, reflective spot in Illinois Canyon.

Our state flower " Violet"

False Solomon's Seal. There is a flower coming out of the end, in the summer it will be a white fuzzy thing. If there was no flower on the end but a series of flowers down the underside of the leaves it would be real Solomon's Seal.

I will leave you with this: Happy are those who take life day by day, complain very little, and are thankful for the little things in life.