Monday, June 25, 2012

Wolf Lake Loop Trail, Part 2

We were hiking the Wolf Lake Loop Trail and it was lovely - except for the biting deer flies or horse flies. I wasn't sure which they were as they seemed bigger than normal deer flies. They were becoming increasingly fierce and numerous as the morning warmed up. Nevertheless, I was still enjoying the many Pink Ladyslippers along the trail, thousands upon thousands of them:

The trail crossed a split log bridge:

And lots of Blue Flag (wild Iris) were in bloom along the edges of the many beaver marshes:

The beavers had long ago dammed many places, and their ponds had slowly become marshes. They were picturesque and good wildlife habitat, but unfortunately also breeding grounds for more biting insects. They continued to increase in number and ferocity as we hiked farther into the forest:

We passed a beaver dam of unusual depth and intricate construction. Seamus again cooled off in the water:

Those yellow water lilies you saw in the above photo were, I used to believe, called Spatterdock. But I've since learned that the more northern species is Bullhead Lily. Neither name is very attractive, I suppose, but I always welcome seeing them:

And many more Pink Ladyslippers and Canada Mayflowers:

And then I spotted a small flower I'd only seen a few times before. It was Fringed Polygala. The first time I'd seen it I thought that it too was an orchid. But it's a member of the Milkwort family, albeit rather unlike its relatives:

And on we went, happily passing by more and more beaver marshes, some of them quite extensive. One of them was so large I thought we'd arrived at Moon Lake, the first lake on the trail. But I later learned that these marshes were unnamed. Notice Fergus' ears flopping as he merrily bounces along the trail:

By this time, sadly, the deer flies had become brutal, and were attacking both Seamus and me. I sprayed both of us with Deep Woods Off which seemed to work for a minute or two. Then we needed more spray:

The deer flies didn't seem to be bothering the three smaller, mostly white dogs. I suspected that Seamus was much bigger and putting out more body heat. I later read that they're attracted to dark colors also. But we'd come a long way and there was no turning back, so we continued on toward Moon Lake and Wolf Lake:

Clover again walked out on a fallen log to survey the beaver marsh. She's quite the little adventurer:

I passed by thousands of exquisite Pink Ladyslippers along the way, pausing only occasionally to stop and photograph them:

And the Bunchberries were in full bloom also, a tiny relative of the Dogwood tree. In fact, they're in the same genus. Bunchberries are a denizen of northern forests and mountain slopes. I still remember the first time I saw them. It was near the summit of Mount Marcy. But our hike was only in its midpoint. I'll post more tomorrow:

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