Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hiking Hadley Mountain, Part 4

Hiking ever higher, the dogs and I encountered a series of moss covered, icy rock ledges. They were a blessed multi-sensory experience as I could smell the moss, hear the dripping melting ice and feel the coolness of the surrounding air. Fergus decided to get a much closer feel and try it out on his paws:

Moss is an evergreen plant, even when it grows beneath ice. I have, however, seen moss up high on Adirondack peaks which turns bright orange in the autumn and winter:

Seamus and Fergus ran ahead of me and then looked down to where I was standing as if wondering why I was so slow. I grabbed my camera because I had a hunch about what was coming:

Deciding that they had to join me and find out why I was lagging behind, Fergus led the way across the ice with Seamus following:

Fergus made it with no problems, but I had my camera ready when big ol' Seamus went into a slide:

But no one was hurt and we continued on our way up the mountainside. Every time it appeared that we were about to reach the peak, we'd find instead that there were many more hills to climb:

Princess Pine, a club-moss common to northern woodlands, began to appear all along the trail. I checked the internet for more information on this primitive plant, and read that it is characteristic of "cool, boreal forests. Considered an indicator of cool temperature climates, fresh and very moist soils, nitrogen-poor soils, and compacted forest floors." Mostly, I remember my neighbors in New Hampshire and the Taconic Mountains of New York collecting it to sell for making Christmas wreaths. It was a most welcome companion along our hike:

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