Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Into The Woods, White Hill Wild Forest, Part 2

I'd discovered a 9000 acre wild forest just a bit south of my farm and set out with my four dogs to explore it on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Here's a map of the area I found on the Internet. For some reason this picture will not enlarge when you click it, but if your eyes are good enough you can see how the road took us to Clear Pond. We parked there and hiked around Clear Pond, turning south at the next trail intersection to Little Rock Pond and Long Pond:

We seemed to have the entire forest to ourselves and the tree canopy was some protection from the rain. I passed by lots of interesting sights and one of them was this unique mushroom. It looked to me like an old rag draped over a fence post:

I stepped over what I thought was Watercress growing abundantly in a mountain stream. I've searched my Peterson's Field Guide since and no longer think it's Watercress. But what is it? Does anyone know?

Daphne and Clover, the two Papillon youngsters (also referred to as the silly sisters), were constantly on the run. But when they stopped for a moment to watch me, I snapped their photo:

And then they began running again:

I'd long been lamenting the lack of Wood Thrushes in the Adirondacks. I've read that they were disappearing, perhaps as a consequence of acid rain. But this summer I've heard lots of them and I decided that it was a fine time to take a video and record the sounds and sights of the rainy forest with a Wood Thrush singing. There's also, you will notice, an Ovenbird singing loudly at about the 45 second mark. And Seamus panting as he waits patiently for me to begin hiking again. You may also notice Clover browsing on grass like a tiny Holstein. Both of my Papillons do that, so it must be a breed characteristic:

And then we came to a section of the trail which was flooded. There were trees down all around also. I figured it was beaver activity but saw no chew marks on stumps. Well, for the moment my job was to find a way around the flooding. As you can see here, Daphne and Clover were perfectly happy to run right through the water if that's what I wanted to do:

When we'd returned to dry trail, I passed by what must surely be a beaver swamp. But still I saw no chew marks on the stumps:

I checked my map and decided this must be Little Rock Pond. Daphne ran right down to investigate, perhaps hoping to meet a beaver:

Then Seamus, Fergus and Clover ran down to check it all out also:

The dogs' curiosity satisfied, we resumed our trek along the trail. Mosquitoes and Deer Flies were abundant and hungry. Next time I'll know to wear a hat to cover my shaved head:

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