Bull Run Upper Fords to the Stone Bridge

Walked Bull Run from Poplar Ford to the Stone Bridge. I have always been curious to see the boundary line that separated the two opposing forces during the first major battle of the Ameican Civil War. The weather has been extreme with record setting temperatures and little or no rain. The Run was probbaly only down a foot maybe two and we seldom reached depths past our waste. The bottom along this stretch was pretty firm with very little soft silty areas. Water was relatively clear but there was very little vegetation. Along the way there were numerous fish and we did stumble upon a few musk turtles.

Stinkpot-Common Musk Turtle -Bull Run

The run was also suprisingly clean of solid waste especially when compared to the areas south of the rte 28 bridge where the trash is becoming a problem.
On our approach to The Stone Bridge somewhere along the vicinity of Farm Ford the bottom was solid rock. The bottom rock seemed to merge with a high bank also made of the same rock- a sand or mud stone. This is where we found an abundance of different ferm like plants, mosses and liverworts, and sedum just to name a few. There was also some neat looking Geology in the nearby cliffs.

A_tricomanesBull Run Southwest BankAspenium_platynueronBull Run Musk Turtle (2)MaidenhairBull Run North East Bank (2)Lizard_tail1

Johnny Moore Stream Valley Park


Went out along Johnny Moore Creek this eveneing.   Didn’t have a lot of time to search thoroughly but was able to observe a few interesting plants in the short time of my visit


Sedum (above).

Indian Pipe

Indian Pipe with erect flower

.spleenwort (2)

Spleen wort (above) growing from the ruins of a dam that was once a part of the old Detwilers Mill.

Lycopods on forest floor (below).


Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum, peadatum) by Margo Khosravi

maidenhair fern (1)

This delicate, graceful perennial is found in rich, moist soil in the woods and in moist limestone outcroppings and ravines.  Black stemmed fronds about 12″ long fan out in a whorl pattern that make it an easily recognizable plant.   In the Clifton area, the bluffs around Popes Head Creek are a good place to spot Maidenhair Ferns.

The leaves were once used as a remedy for coughs, nasal congestion, asthma, and fevers.  Steeped in hot water, the resulting tea or syrup was thought to be a coolant, expectorant, and antirheumatic.  The Indians made a decoction from the stems of the plant that was used to make the hair shiny, but that’s not how it got the name Maidenhair.  It is called that because of the fine, tiny hairs that are found on its roots.