Saturday, July 21, 2012

Part 1, Hiking Mount Arab

Having taken a driving tour of the tiny hamlet of Conifer, New York, I returned the couple of miles to Mount Arab Road and headed toward the trail head:

It continued raining off and on (mostly on), but I knew the light rain would keep us cool and help prevent the onslaught of ravenously vicious deer flies. Besides, I figured Seamus would be safe from another bout of heat stroke in such cool, damp, cloudy weather. The branches overhead helped shield us from getting too overly wet - for a while, at least:

The trail was rather smooth and took us steadily uphill. The ground was so dry that the rain was soaking in quickly:

But of course we all eventually became wet, starting with long-haired little Clover who soon began looking a bit like a drowned, spotted rat. Never mind, we were all having a marvelous time:

We continued up and up and up. The trail was short, only one mile to the top, and the grade wasn't precariously steep. It was, however, unrelenting:

I heard Wood Thrushes singing in the rain and thought how they seem to love rainy days. They like to sing at dawn and dusk, so maybe the reduced sunlight of a rainy day inspires them to vocalize: Whenever there was a bit more sun, I heard White-Throated Sparrows singing:

Most of the trail was dry enough under the circumstances, but there were a few wet spots:

Little Clover, AKA the mountain goat, climbed up onto a glacial erratic to check out her surroundings:

And we continued upwards through the rain, surrounded by bird songs:

All of the dogs were being very good. They had fun and did all their doggy investigating, but without running far enough ahead that I had to reprimand them:

I kept grabbing trees for support or just because I love trees - and several times put my hand directly on these rather slimy slugs. They all seemed to be climbing trees because of the rain. Or perhaps this is just a tree climbing species. But we were almost to the summit. I'll post about that tomorrow:

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