Sunday, October 26, 2014

October 26, 2014

It was a wet week around Lake Wicwas with almost two inches of rain falling on the lake.  Nonetheless the water level continued to drop as the dam has been lowered and water is flowing rapidly from Lake Wicwas, through Meredith Center, and into Lake Winnisquam.  The lake is six inches below full level and a lot of typically unseen shoreline is visible. The rain and wind drove yet more leaves from the trees, leaving mostly brown oaks and beech.

The occasional green tree stands out in contrast to its drab surroundings.

The White Tail Deer have started the fall rut and I have come across a couple groups of four or five deer that a buck has probably rounded up.  I have also seen a few scrapings on the ground where a buck is marking out its territory.
Deer Marking its Territory

Other than this, it was a quiet week for wildlife around the area.  There were a few more Wood Ducks on the lake, and I heard at least one loon still on the lake.  I did notice an old rotten tree that had been ripped apart by something.
What ripped this tree apart?

Could it have been a bear looking for insects?  It's more than a woodpecker usually does, and there are no wood chips around. 

A couple of weeks ago we took a trip up to the Sky Pond State Forest.  This is a beautiful State Forest right near-by in New Hampton with geology and an ecosystem very similar to that of Lake Wicwas.  From the parking area it's a short hike to a ledge high on the west side of Lake Winona, very much like that on the west side of Lake Wicwas.  It is a common formation created by glaciers as they scoured the earth moving south over what is now the Lakes Region.

From the ledge one can see Lake Winona, Lake Waukewan, Hawkins Pond, and even a bit of Winnipsaukee.

Lake Waukewan from Bald Ledge

There are also nice views of Mt. Chocorua, the Rattlesnakes, and the cliffs on Mt. Whiteface.

Lake Winona and Hawkins Pond with the Sandwich Mountains in the distance
Mount Chocorua from Bald Ledge
This is an easy hike that I highly recommend.  You can find driving directions and details of the hike here.

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