Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Exploring A Boreal Forest Along Quebec Brook

I was spending a full day up at the farm and had already hiked Elephant Head Mountain. But it was only just past noon when I arrived back at my little farm apartment, let Wally and Winky out and ate lunch. I was still anxious to see one more place I'd read about, Quebec Brook. I put the four younger dogs into the car and headed south just a little way to Blue Mountain Road, driving past the trail head for Azure Mountain which I'd hiked just a few weeks earlier. But I had difficulty locating the trail head and had to turn around several times as I searched the road. I saw this bald mountain up ahead with a fire tower on its peak and realized it was Azure Mountain. The fire tower is difficult to see in the photo, but it was clearly visible in real life. I knew I was on the right track but had to turn around and drive farther south:

A few miles down the dirt road and there was our trail head! Once again, the dogs and I had it all to ourselves:

The trail follows the shoreline of Quebec Brook along what was once a railroad bed. It traverses through what was described as lovely Boreal Forest. Indeed, the path was carpeted thickly with mosses and bordered with fragrant Balsam Firs:

In with the mosses were Reindeer Lichen and Bunchberries:

And just off to my left, the wild and scenic Quebec Brook ran its course:

I began to spot giant mushrooms of various kinds:

A tiny Balsam Fir grew among the Bunchberries:

The entire forest was perfumed with Balsam, so very strongly that I felt as if I'd gorged on candy. The aroma became stronger and stronger as we hiked and I never became used to it. In fact, it seemed to stay in my nostrils for several days after going home:

The forest was quiet, peaceful and wild:

And everywhere I looked I saw (and smelled) Balsams:

This was turning out to be one of the most beautiful hikes I'd ever taken. The dogs and I hiked on, but I'll post more about it tomorrow:

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