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Observation Point 9 The sound of the stream fills this section of the Trail. The far slope of the ravine faces the northern sky and thus receives very little direct sunlight. The slope on which we are standing faces the southern sky and thus receives more direct sunlight. The growth of the spring plants on the near  slope is always several weeks ahead of the north-facing slope. Wildflowers bloom and fade on this near slope before they even sprout on the far side of the stream. Summer densities of plants are greater on this near slope than across the stream simply because of the increased sunlight.

Sycamore tree barkBeech trees dominate this section of the woods, and a huge white oak stands at the trail juncture. Sugar and red maples and yellow poplars scatter out through gaps in the beeches. An American elm rises to the right up stream, and a lone sycamore tree with its white, mottled, pealing bark stands at the nexus of the trails. This is a place of quiet and beauty.

The stream is a focus for the cycles and activities of almost all of the animals of the Nature Trail. Tracks of deer and raccoon, red fox, opossum, and wild turkey are abundant along the stream's edge. Under the rocks of the stream are crayfish and salamanders and within its banks live many toads and turtles. The water flowing up from springs just west of the Trail runs cool and constant except in times of extreme drought.

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