Saturday, September 4, 2010

Exploring Dyken Pond Nature Preserve - Part 3

On we hiked, the four dogs and I, through the Dyken Pond Nature Preserve. We were at this point sticking to the Long Trail, which seemed on the map to be the best way to tour the biggest portion of the preserve. We were walking along very level trails through rather deep woods when Clover discovered what appeared to be large canvas tents in the woods:

They appeared to be unoccupied, so the dogs and I walked closer to see if we could discover the meaning of this mystery:

There was no sign of people camping, so we became bolder. The "tents" were two large structures made of saplings lashed together and covered with U.S. Army green canvas tarps. I decided that they were sweat lodges, though for what group of people I couldn't imagine: The smaller of the two lodges even had an unlit campfire prepared in its center:

And all around the area were small "pup tents" built of sticks and covered with leaf litter. I could only guess that people slept in them:

Here's a side view of one of the "pup tents:"

This was apparently a legitimate and approved activity, perhaps by Boy Scouts or by a gathering of Rangers/Naturalists. It was too close to the main trail to be something done in secret. I never did discover the truth, but it was interesting nonetheless:

And as we hiked on, we shortly arrived in a sunny meadow filled with ferns:

The puppies of course found this a marvelous place to run and play (as they find all places):

I released Fergus from his "heel" command and he ran with the puppies also:

We enjoyed the ferny meadow for a bit, but then hiked on, once again entering the forest:

As we skirted another peat bog, I decided to walk out onto it in search of Pitcher Plants, Sundews and possible orchids. I found none of them, but did find a lovely small ecosystem of amazing plants, textures, colors and aromas. The dogs also enjoyed it:

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