Thursday, September 1, 2011

Finding A Swamp, White Hill Wild Forest Part 3

I was hiking the snowmobile trail in the White Hill Wild Forest with four of my dogs. I was the only person in the entire forest as far as I could tell and, as the trail led us farther and farther into the deep forest, it began to feel a bit eerie. But it was also lovely to look at and easy walking, so we kept going:

As I noted previously, there were mushrooms galore. I stepped over these miniature shelf fungi which grew on an old limb in the middle of the trail:

Trees of various sizes had fallen across the trail and it was clear to me that there'd been no trail maintenance performed recently. That added to the sense of eerie isolation, of wandering back into another time:

I saw a few red mushrooms. These had been common on our last hike here but perhaps their growing season was coming to an end:

And then I saw, on our right, a field of ferns and a swamp off through the trees. The dogs broke into a run to get there and I followed. I thought we might have found Rock Pond:

The dogs arrived first and were all excited at this great find. I was less thrilled. There was very little water, just enough to prevent us from entering the area. Mostly I saw fetid mud and oil slicks on shallow, opaque water:

Although it was not a comfortable place for humans, I was sure that this swamp supported much plant and animal life. Heaven knows, it certainly supported mosquitoes and deer flies! The dogs found a hillock from which they could investigate more closely:

I did some rock hopping to position myself inside the swamp a bit and began snapping photos of its eerie beauty:

In every direction were dead trees, shallow oily brown water and large, moss and fern covered rocks:

I suppose that this swamp would have been more of a pond if we'd arrived earlier in the season, but late in this hot, dry summer the water was very low:

Fergus tried to make his way through the mud and discovered that was a very bad idea. You can see his muddy feet in this picture. After that, he stayed on the rocks with the other dogs. He and little Clover did a bit of rock hopping. I'll post more tomorrow:

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