Shaw Nature Reserve

On Saturday I got to hike with my momma. She's lived in Franklin County for years and years and had never been to Shaw Nature Reserve. We met up and spent several hours together in nature. It was a gorgeous day!

We parked by the Bascom House. We ducked inside for a quick look and then headed out to the gardens. I wasn't expecting to see much so late in the year but nature surprised us.

[caption id="attachment_2437" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Dogwood Berries Dogwood Berries[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2436" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Beauty Berry Bush Beauty Berry Bush[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2435" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Aster Aster[/caption]

After touring the gardens we started off along a trail that leads to the Meramec River.

We came upon this old house. Apparently, this house was built by staff and volunteers over 10 years ago.

[caption id="attachment_2439" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Sod House Sod House[/caption]

I thought the door was interesting so I pulled on the handle and it opened! We stepped inside. It was so tiny! I cannot imagine living in such a small space.

You can see how thick the walls are by the depth of the window well.

[caption id="attachment_2440" align="aligncenter" width="200"]Sod House interior Sod House interior[/caption]

We carried on and found ourselves among the bluffs close to the river. The path steep and winding, but it was a lot of fun!

We saw this beautiful tree, a sycamore, I think.

[caption id="attachment_2441" align="aligncenter" width="200"]Sycamore Sycamore[/caption]

The picture doesn't really do it justice because there's nothing for scale, but it's the largest tree I've personally seen in MO.

Before long we were at the gravel bar!

[caption id="attachment_2442" align="aligncenter" width="300"]The Meramec River The Meramec River[/caption]

We sat down to eat a snack. We chatted and pointed out interesting rocks to each other. I had to laugh at one point because I heard myself saying, "Hey Mom, look at this!" a hundred times over which is something I've complained about my kids doing to me. My mom was oohing and aahing just like any good mom does. It cracked me up.

I guess some things never change.

We took a different route back.

[caption id="attachment_2443" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Canopy Canopy[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2444" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Springs Miniature Effect Springs Miniature Effect[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2445" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Mystery Leaf Fuzz Mystery Leaf Fuzz[/caption]

We found interesting things everywhere we looked.

[caption id="attachment_2446" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Ready to fall Ready to fall[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2447" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Path through Gold Path through Gold[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2448" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Holly Tree Holly Tree[/caption]

This probably sounds ignorant, but I didn't realize Holly trees were a thing! I've seen bushes, but this was a HUGE tree. Covered in berries. It was so pretty! I want one!

We made it back to the parking lot about 45 minutes before closing! Whew. We'll have to start earlier next time!

And I hope there is a next time. We really enjoyed the hike and time together. I would love for us to do something like this on a regular basis!


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