Friday, September 3, 2010

Exploring Dyken Pond Nature Preserve - Part 2

I was hiking the trails of Dyken Pond Nature Preserve in Grafton, New York on a hot August day with four of my dogs. The first trail began along the lake's edge, but then turned towards the woods where we encountered the first of many peat bogs:

A close-up view of the sphagnum moss which makes up the bog:

And then the trails led us back into the forest:

There were perhaps eight marked trails and numerous unmarked trails and shortcuts. It's a good thing I had a trail map. When I came to this directional sign, I took the Long Trail shortcut (Is that an oxymoron?), but later wished I'd have gone to see the Grandfather Rock. Well, maybe next time:

The forests of Dyken Pond Preserve are very similar to those in the Adirondacks but have many very large, mature trees. For this reason I suspect that these woods, at least in some places, have never been logged. Did you notice Fergus on the trail?:

The dogs had been too excited at the beginning of the hike, but calmed down as we went on. Seamus naturally dropped back to walk at my heels. Fergus kept running too far ahead so I told him to heel. That left the Papillon puppies to run ahead and explore. But with the other two dogs behind me, the two puppies stayed closer:

Clover, though still quite young, had been in the woods enough to know the routine. She explored and played, but kept close enough for me to keep her under control:

We walked through a section with big stone ledges and boulders:

I set my camera on self-timer but got only this one photo of myself:

This section was called "The Rock Garden" on the trail map. It was a scattering of huge boulders, looking somewhat as if a giant had spilled a bag of marbles. The collection of trees and plants growing throughout the boulders was different than in the surrounding woods:

And on we hiked, through the woods and peat bogs to a sunny fern meadow:

When we entered the ferny meadow, I was happy to see it was sunny and very pleasant. Being an ecotone, where two or more habitat types come together, it had a lot of interesting plants and abundant bird songs. I stopped to take it all in while Daphne and Clover, the two Papillon puppies ran and played:

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