A WALK ON THE RIVER: Exploring scenery and wildlife at Mill Hollow


By Jason Hawk - jhawk@civitasmedia.com



Photos by Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times The Vermilion River is placid in Mill Hollow as summer winds down.


About 20 geese made a brief stop-over at a pond at the Vermilion River Reservation Metro Park.


Two deer wander out of a screen of trees on the west side of the Hollow to breakfast on grass.


Color, color everywhere — flowers are showing off as summer winds down.


Color, color everywhere — flowers are showing off as summer winds down.


Children listen as Civil War-era reenactors talk about life 160 years ago.


Amherst students learn about looms and weaving.


A “pioneer” shows kids how a spinning wheel was used.


Musicians entertain visiting students on a Pioneer Craft Experience field trip.


Kids are struck by just how different everything — including simple tasks such as cooking — was during America’s period of western expansion.


Nord Middle School students learn about honey bees.


A blacksmith flattens steel heated to 2,000 degrees.


Junior gold-panners try their luck in the Vermilion River.


Not every work day starts with a three-mile hike in the shelter of the woods.

But that’s how Tuesday began as I waited for Amherst school buses loaded with Nord Middle School fifth-graders to arrive at Mill Hollow for the Pioneer Craft Experience.

With camera in hand, I faded into the greenery, resolved to while away the time along the peaceful banks of the Vermilion River.

Soaking in the silence, I walked farther than planned, relaxing under the broad canopy of already-shifting leaf colors and enjoying the waning days of summer.

Most people know about the Hollow’s kayak launch, a broad, rocky stretch against the water bordered on the far side by a winding cliff cut by the river through the millennia.

What many may not realize is that if you’re willing to either wade or backtrack, you can follow the lazy flow of water a long way and take in seldom-visited vistas.

On my walk, I scared up several unsuspecting rabbits, a groundhog, and two white-tailed does. At one point, a flight of geese roared low over the trees to splash down in a pond on the far side of the park. They dined and rested a few minutes before rising in a V and winging south.

I did eventually return to the open grass of the park, called by the distant laughter of children and arrival of buses from Amherst, Clearview, and Vermilion schools.

Enjoy these pictures from the walk and field trip event.

Photos by Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times The Vermilion River is placid in Mill Hollow as summer winds down.

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2015/09/web1_IMG_8322.jpg

Photos by Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times The Vermilion River is placid in Mill Hollow as summer winds down.

About 20 geese made a brief stop-over at a pond at the Vermilion River Reservation Metro Park.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2015/09/web1_IMG_8338.jpgAbout 20 geese made a brief stop-over at a pond at the Vermilion River Reservation Metro Park.

Two deer wander out of a screen of trees on the west side of the Hollow to breakfast on grass.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2015/09/web1_IMG_8359.jpgTwo deer wander out of a screen of trees on the west side of the Hollow to breakfast on grass.

Color, color everywhere — flowers are showing off as summer winds down.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2015/09/web1_IMG_8324.jpgColor, color everywhere — flowers are showing off as summer winds down.

Color, color everywhere — flowers are showing off as summer winds down.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2015/09/web1_IMG_8342.jpgColor, color everywhere — flowers are showing off as summer winds down.

Children listen as Civil War-era reenactors talk about life 160 years ago.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2015/09/web1_IMG_8373.jpgChildren listen as Civil War-era reenactors talk about life 160 years ago.

Amherst students learn about looms and weaving.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2015/09/web1_IMG_8376.jpgAmherst students learn about looms and weaving.

A “pioneer” shows kids how a spinning wheel was used.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2015/09/web1_IMG_8382.jpgA “pioneer” shows kids how a spinning wheel was used.

Musicians entertain visiting students on a Pioneer Craft Experience field trip.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2015/09/web1_IMG_8388.jpgMusicians entertain visiting students on a Pioneer Craft Experience field trip.

Kids are struck by just how different everything — including simple tasks such as cooking — was during America’s period of western expansion.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2015/09/web1_IMG_8396.jpgKids are struck by just how different everything — including simple tasks such as cooking — was during America’s period of western expansion.

Nord Middle School students learn about honey bees.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2015/09/web1_IMG_8398.jpgNord Middle School students learn about honey bees.

A blacksmith flattens steel heated to 2,000 degrees.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2015/09/web1_IMG_8403.jpgA blacksmith flattens steel heated to 2,000 degrees.

Junior gold-panners try their luck in the Vermilion River.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2015/09/web1_IMG_8412.jpgJunior gold-panners try their luck in the Vermilion River.

By Jason Hawk

jhawk@civitasmedia.com

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