I keep returning to a certain road leading deep down into the American River Canyon. It’s kind of a secret road- I hardly ever see anyone on it except a rare maintenance vehicle. It’s a quiet, peaceful, lovely Sunday afternoon walk for me and the dogs.

Mossy oak trunks leaning out over the road

My road winds back and forth down through the steep forest on the south side of the American River Canyon, about 1400 vertical feet from the top of the ridge down to the river. The deeply shaded north facing slopes are cool and damp, and the faces of the cliffs are covered in shrouds of thick moss, lichen and ferns.

North facing cliff, American River Canyon, with ferns

It’s a Fern Fantasia. I can’t seem to get enough of them. You’d think that if you’ve seen one fern, you’ve seen them all, but Nature is endlessly artful in her arrangements, and I am endlessly in awe.


Sarah won the prize for photo of the day. No contest.

I have to stop a hundred times on the way down the road to take photos, and then I find a hundred new exquisite displays on the way back up. The dogs are pretty patient with me, (although it took three tries to get Sarah to hold still for a portrait on a mossy boulder!)


I think perhaps I missed my calling in life- I should have been a fern-ologist.

Polyploidy fern on a vertical bit of weathered rock in the American River Canyon


Every time it rains I have to take a walk to visit the ferns and admire their lush greenness. Ferns after a rainstorm are one of the many things I love about this planet.


Enjoy the photos.

Wishing you happy trails….. and an abundance of ferns.  ∼Shirley & Co

Lyssa Pippi and Tina deep in the American River Canyon, rounding a mossy cliff.
Thick moss highlights the facets of this north facing cut deep in the canyon.
Oak tree trunks sporting thick mossy coats.
Ferns and Moss.

Author: sixdogmomma

Dog lover, hiker, backpacker, photographer, caretaker.

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