Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Turn-Around Point On The Taconic Crest Trail

The dogs and I continued climbing up to the top of this almost denuded peak and I kept trying to figure out what had happened there. The tree trunks were still lying on the ground with the brush and some trunks had actually been chopped into shorter pieces. I figured that meant the cutting was neither for pulp nor for lumber:

There were some nice views from the peak and a few trees had been left standing. This inclined me to believe that Williams College was planning to build something here. If so, it would have to do without an access road or electricity:

Most of the trees left standing did not look like perfect enough specimens to have been intended as seed trees. Once the brush had been cleared, however, there would be a nice park-like clearing at the peak, at least if it was kept mowed:

After I got home, I placed a call to the manager of the Hopkins Memorial Forest for Williams College. He didn't answer, so I left a message asking about the cutting and just received a return call from him. He explained that they cut a 5 acre patch in the middle of solid forest to allow brush to grow up and accommodate species which prefer the edges of forests, increasing the wildlife variety and density. The brush and trunks will be left where they fell and new growth of berries, etc. will support many species which are now absent or in decline. The trees left standing were for nesting and wildlife dens. He was a very kind man and willing to talk at length about their plans:

After passing through the cut peak, we continued on along the Taconic Crest Trail

Five trail markers on one unfortunate small tree, and there would have six if one hadn't fallen off! I couldn't help but think this was excessive:

We began to climb up an incline which I knew from previous hikes would yield a wonderful view:

And indeed it did. As the dogs ran ahead playfully, I entered into the clearing where I was planning to turn around and begin the return trip:

The dogs weren't impressed with the view, but they did enjoy the smells on the uphill side of the clearing:

I could see clear across the valley to the Petersburgh Pass where we'd parked. You can see Route 2 winding its way up the mountain:

And to the southwest I could see out over the Taconic Valley towns of Petersburgh and Berlin (where I once lived):

Daphne and Seamus stopped their play for a moment to watch me climbing around as I took pictures:

And Fergus found a safe, quiet spot from which to keep an eye on me. Our human endeavors must sometimes seem strange from a dog's point of view:

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