Monday, July 4, 2011

Clear Pond, White Hill Wild Forest, Part 1

I'd left early and driven to the farm, arriving about 1:00. I'd taken a look around and fed the dogs. I was in the mood for a hike and I'd found a place on Google Maps which I couldn't wait to explore. It was the White Hill Wild Forest, more than 9000 acres of unspoiled wilderness about 20 minutes south of the farm. I left Winky and Wally in the farm apartment and drove there with the younger four dogs. It was easy to find:

The access road was a narrow, gravel lane which took us approximately a mile and a half into the forest. We passed this amazing beaver swamp on our way:

Through more forest, some of it old growth:

And amazing, beautiful sights like these twin cedars growing on a moss covered rock alongside the road:

I saw what I assumed were baby Ruffed Grouse in the road and stopped my car. I got out with my camera only to have them all fly away. Yes, they flew. I now think think they must have been quail. I didn't get a photo of the birds, so I turned the camera toward the car so you could see the narrow road and thick vegetation:

I found a small parking lot surrounded by a field filled with Orange Hawkweed:

The road, such as it is, ends at Clear Pond, a lovely wilderness pond which had a few fisherman but no one else. It began raining as we reached its shoreline and continued raining throughout the hike:

The dogs didn't mind the rain, and I figured that once we were deep in the forest I'd be partially protected by the trees overhead:

The trail followed the shore of Clear Pond for a while, and I kept stopping to see it from a new angle and snap a few more photos:

But Fergus was anxious for me to get moving and get hiking. I'll post more tomorrow:

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