Walnut Woods State Park

I found a lovely state park the other day in West Des Moines.

Because we all need something to do until the breweries open.

Anyways, here are some photos of my sojourn to Walnut State Park (with commentary).

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Walnut Woods State Park includes 260 acres of forest along the Raccoon River in West Des Moines.  I walked a couple miles along the trails one Sunday morning.

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The forest was bursting with early bloomers.  Here we see patches of Virginia Waterleaf (the pink clusters of flowers).  This grows back home, too, so look for it!

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From the banks of the Raccoon River.  For some reason, rivers around Des Moines are named after undesirable vermin, like raccoons and skunks.

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I want to say this pretty flower is Fleabane.  It’s a member of the Aster family.  Lovely.

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I got cocky and tried to walk along the sand bar.  My shoe sank halfway into the mud.  Just in time for a happy couple to stumble upon me, dirty and cursing.

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Ah, Spiderwort.  The only thing associated with spiders I actually enjoy.

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The trees bordering the river were typical bottomland/floodplain species:  Cottonwoods, Silver Maples, Box Elders.

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This one is Woodland Phlox.  Did I mention I really, really like plant identification?

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Just to prove I actually go to these places and don’t just download photos off Google.  Note the sunburned cheeks.

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