Friday, April 8, 2011

Grafton's Fire Tower Trail - Part 4

The dogs and I were hiking downhill back to the trail head and our parked car but we were moving at a leisurely pace, taking the time to explore and see the natural wonders. I sent this photo of Clover to her breeder to illustrate what a fine looking Papillon she is becoming. I'd originally planned to breed her but am now thinking I may instead go back to taking in small, elderly foster dogs:

Down through the forest we traveled, being as careful as possible to stay off of the slippery ice. We passed by this large rock cliff which I guessed had been created by the movement of glaciers long ago:

There were several trail maps posted along the way but they did not reveal the secret of where to find the mysterious disappearing fire tower:

We'd been on the trail long enough for the dogs to slow down a bit and we all were thoroughly enjoying being out in the woods, free of interruption and the pulls of civilization:

Another good Papillon pose by Clover which I also sent to her breeder:

Daphne may not be a sterling example of the Papillon breed, but she sure is sweet, smart, athletic and loyal. We were passing by this small ridge which hid the landscape on the other side, so I decided we'd all just climb to the top of it and take a look:

This was just about the only spot along the trail without snow cover and the only spot where we actually saw green moss and even a few flattened ferns. I reminded myself that spring was near:

I'd had some hope that we'd have a spectacular scenic view from the top of the ridge but only saw more forest. It was, however, comforting to my soul to experience a large forest in its natural condition. Just gazing at it was restorative and settling:

I can't read dogs' minds, but I imagined that they also took heart from this momentary experience of their paws touching moss, rock and soil instead of snow and ice:

But we'd had our moment in the sun and began to descend that little ridge, returning to the trail. That's Clover looking so tiny on that hill. She's right at home in the forest as if she was born to hike. And she comes when called now. Only last summer she was a puppy who ran ahead on the trail and refused to come when called. She's developed into quite a lovely, well behaved dog:

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