Sunday, October 14, 2012

October 14, 2012

Frost on the pumpkin!  Lake Wicwas had its first freeze on Saturday morning, though only in open areas that were exposed to the cold sky and the effects radiational cooling - anyplace protected by a cover of trees remained frost-free.  I didn't see any pumpkins around the lake, but there was frost on the leaves that had fallen into open fields.

With a clear day upon us, we had a beautiful walk up to the White Mountain Ledge on the Hamlin trails, and found some nice views to the north.  We got one glimpse of a snow covered Mount Lafayette when it cleared from its cloud blanket, but all the other mountains are still green.
From the White Mountain Ledge
Mt. Chocorua

There were beautiful views around the lake as well, with the dark blue water sparkling in the brisk north wind.  Here is the scene looking northeast towards the Lakeland School.  Old timers around the lake will remember when this was the Wicwas Lodge - maybe even some who remember the Lake Wicwas House?  There is a great history of the site on Dean Dexter's New Hampshire Commentary, "Smith Corner, Lake Wicwas, Meredith NH"   (Click Here).
Lakeland School

We also visited Crockett's Ledge, where there are still many yellow trees looking looking over towards Lake Winnisquam.  
Lake Winnisquam

This large structure - visible with binoculars - on the hilltop looking east towards Winnipesaukee was built in the last few years.  Could it be just a private residence?  

On our hike we saw lots of old tree stumps that are decomposing, and becoming hosts for moss, lichen, fungus, and now even small trees.  These new residents will accelerate the rate of the stump's decay.  Some of them have the appearance of tiny fairy yards. 

Lichen:  Reindeer and British Soldier
There were lots of animals out enjoying the pleasant day, collecting food for the winter.  Perhaps the first frost got them thinking about the long season ahead.  Or, more likely, it is just that we put the bird feeders back out.  (Risking the bears as well!)  In addition to the usual visitors, we saw the first Snow Bird, and a Purple Finch.
Purple Finch

There is still plenty of color around the lake to enjoy!

From Crockett's Ledge

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