Sunday, September 15, 2013

September 15, 2013

The past week has been pretty typical for September in New England - hot temperatures, cool temperatures, thunderstorms, wind, flooding - everything but a hurricane!  We decided to take a walk through another of Meredith's conservation areas this week:  the Meredith Community Forest right next to downtown.  We went in the Philbrook Ave entrance, walked along the yellow and red trails and came out at the main entrance on Jenness Hill Road.  It is a nice area, with habitat similar to that around Lake Wicwas, though some of the trails are not as well maintained (or apparently traveled) as the Hamlin-Eames-Symth trails.

Early in the hike there was mostly mature forest, and farther along the trees were much younger, indicating more recent farming or logging.  Near the center of the area we found a newly-forming beaver pond.
Beaver Pond in Meredith Community Forest
The pond is infringing on the trail, and the healthy trees and shrubs growing in it shows it is a new pond.  There were also several newly felled trees at the fringes.

There are also several nice stands of beech trees.  On one tree there are clear claw marks from a bear that climbed the tree to get the beech nuts.
Bear Claws on a Beech Tree

Back on Lake Wicwas, the maintenance crew has been busy keeping the trails in good shape.  There is a new bridge on the Blue Trail, and the logs placed a few weeks ago (see post on August 25) have now become the base for a foot bridge over the wet area.

Foot Bridge on the Blue Trail in the Hamlin-Eames-Smyth Conservation Area
Many thanks again to the volunteers who keep this conservation area in such great condition for all of us.

As the fall progresses, the mushrooms continue to flourish; this collection of bright orange fungi is growing on a recently cut tree stump.

I was surprised to find a rib bone on the trail this week as well.
Rib Bone from a White Tail Deer

Based on its location, it is undoubtedly from a deer that was killed two winters ago (see 21 January 2012 post).

One of the benefits of the later-rising sun, it that it is easier to witness the sunrise.  On a cool morning this week a large mass of ground fog formed over the middle of the lake, and as the rising sun heated the atmosphere, it was quickly dissipating.

The start of another beautiful fall day at Lake Wicwas.

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