Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Long Pond Trail - Part 1

There were no flowers, few leaves and no bird songs in these woods. Most of the wild residents had gone into winter mode. The winters are quite cold and snowy in these parts and I imagine that all of nature was braced for winter to begin. But brilliant emerald green patches of mosses on rocks caught my attention and I began noticing the different forms they took. The moss on this rock looked to me like tiny ferns:

While a nearby rock had three different types of moss - the tiny fern type, a star shaped type and another which I imagined looked like tiny bushes. While I studied a lot of wildlife and trees, I never managed to learn anything about mosses (bryophytes). Maybe when I'm retired I can have time to learn more. For now I just have to admire their beauty and diversity and move on:

I saw a small stream rushing downhill and knew it would lead us to Long Pond, visible by that time through the trees. So we began following it:

Seamus heard hikers off through the trees as they walked the shoreline trail:

All the dogs then went on alert and wanted very much to run over and greet the hikers. I figured this would be a bad idea, so I put all four dogs on leashes temporarily:

But soon the hikers had moved on and we reached the edge of Long Pond:

The shoreline was gorgeous and, in spite of the few hikers which had just passed by, we seemed to be alone in the forest. I saw a pair of ducks out in the lake:

These red leaved bushes were, I've learned from the nature blogs I follow, blueberries. I've seldom seen fruit on the high-bush variety, though low-bush blueberries are extremely productive. But I must say that the color these bushes add to autumn woods and shorelines is wondrous:

We began hiking the shoreline trail and enjoying the views out across the lake:

Daphne and Clover, the two Papillon puppies, are best friends and tend to stay together as they run and play. Well, we were just getting started. I'll post more tomorrow:

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