Friday, July 6, 2012

Quebec Brook In June, Part 1

I woke up at the farm on Monday morning determined to go hiking again in spite of the heat, in spite of the gazillions of vicious, ravenous deer flies, in spite of Seamus' near heat stroke two weeks earlier. But I left early in the morning and picked a trail I knew to be level, shaded and next to water its entire length - Quebec Brook. I signed in at the kiosk, noting that I was the first person to do so in two weeks. In fact, there'd been precious few people on that trail all year. But that, of course, is part of its charm. It is wild, unknown, pristine:

We began our hike with high hopes. There were no deer flies out yet as the air still had the morning's coolness:

I heard a sort of screech from one or both of the Papillons and saw them running toward me in terror. I discovered that they'd gone over to investigate a rather large snapping turtle laying her eggs and she'd snapped at them. In fact, I could have sworn I'd heard the snap just before the screech. I told the dogs to stay while I walked over to take a photo of Mrs. Snapper:

I was a bit nervous at first, thinking what might have happened if the snapping turtle had connected with one of the dogs, but it didn't take long before we all began to relax and have fun again. You can see in this photo that Fergus' ears are flapping as he runs along the trail with great joy. That's Quebec Brook on the left, by the way:

There was lots of beaver sign along the trail:

And just as I'd remembered it, the trail was spectacularly beautiful, with a mossy carpet underfoot, Balsam forest on one side and Quebec Brook on the other side. Also just as I'd remembered it, the air was so heavily perfumed with Balsam that it was almost cloying, reminding me of how it feels to have binged on candy:

The trail was an old railroad bed laid down in the wilderness in the very early 1900s. You'd never know that now, though, except perhaps because it's so level, straight and smooth:

Whenever there was convenient access, we stepped down to the river bank to see the lovely Quebec Brook:

The trail is reportedly 2.5 miles long one way. It sure didn't seem it, either because we never made it to the end or because it was so level, straight and smooth. All I knew was that it was lovely:

Quebec Brook is a noted canoe and fishing stream but it seemed rather small, shallow and full of obstacles to me. Perhaps it's mostly canoed and fished in the spring when water levels are much higher:

The dogs all got plenty wet - Seamus on purpose and the others by slipping as they hopped from rock to log to earth mound:

Go toward the light, doggies:

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