Thursday, August 9, 2012

Chapter 1, Cathedral Rock Fire Tower

I'd driven up to the farm on Sunday and spent the night. Early Monday morning I loaded the four youngest dogs into the car and headed southwest toward the tiny town of Sevey Corners (click on label below to see previous post on Sevey Corners) and turned west onto Route 3. I found the unmarked trail head for Cathedral Rock, parked the car and began hiking past extensive wetlands:

The dogs were ecstatic. Just look at Fergus' ears flopping!:

As we passed beyond the wetlands, Spruces, Pines, Balsams and Tamaracks rose up to form a sort of canyon through which we walked:

We made a couple of turns, always going uphill. That was sure to be the best method for finding the fire tower:

I passed this plant in many places which looked very much like a strawberry, but with narrower leaves and petals. I never did get it identified. Maybe I'll come back in a few weeks and look for fruit:

Seamus plodded uphill steadfastly, but agile little Clover danced around like a canine elf, running uphill and downhill, through the forest and along the trail. She smelled and tasted everything. Ah, the energy of youth!:

And then I was stopped in my tracks by the sight of a Foxglove in bloom. Not just any old Foxglove, but a snow white flower. It was magnificent:

Onward we hiked, enjoying the sunshine and mild temperatures:

Clover stopped to graze like a miniature Holstein:

And then I found more Foxgloves, all of them the normal (and beautiful) purple color:

Ferns lined much of the trail:

I stopped to snap a photo of this butterfly but was unable to identify it when I got home. But I found a website which offers photos, descriptions and a checklist for identifying butterflies and moths. When I still couldn't figure out what it was, I took advantage of their offer to ID them for its readers. I emailed them the photo and received an answer within several hours. They told me that this is a Northern Pearly-Eye. The website is "Butterflies And Moths Of North America" (click here). Click here to find out more about the Northern Pearly-Eye. Click here to see my submission, which has been confirmed as a sighting which they will use to catalog range, seasonal movements, population density, etc:

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