Sunday, November 8, 2015

November 8, 2015

It was nice to get home and find some New Hampshire color still in the trees, even if it's the late colors of copper oak and burnt-orange beech.  After a few weeks in the desert it is rejuvenating to return to the warmth of trees and water. 

Beech trees glowing brightly in the autumn sunlight

Lake Wicwas is so peaceful this time of year - on a calm day the entire lake can be a reflection of the world for hours at a time with nary a boat to make a ripple.
Which side is up?

All week I saw just one boat, though there are still a few hardy souls on the lake hanging on to every last minute of wonderful late-fall weather.
Ready for 70 degree days in November

I took a paddle this week on one of those warm, calm days;  New Hampshire can be simply radiant in November.

I saw no wildlife on my trip - no loons, heron, osprey or beaver, though signs of beaver are all along the shore where they have built scent piles to mark their territory.  Many of our summer birds have left for warmer climes;  soon the Canadian birds will make their appearance, stopping for rest and nourishment on their travels southward.

I did see a group of geese and a pair of mallards later in the week.

The mallards were scooping up some tasty bugs that had recently hatched out on surface of the lake.  They were scooting along with their beaks in the water acting like vacuums, just slurping up dozens of those tiny, nutritious morsels.

Back on May 17 I posted pictures of a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker visiting the lake, and mentioned how it drills holes in trees to let the sap leak out - which it then eats, as well as any insects that get caught in the sticky sap.  This week with the trees bare and better visibility into the woods, I found evidence of its work this summer:  lines of tiny holes drilled into this hemlock tree.

Some of the holes have dried-up globs of sap in them.

Yesterday we spent a few hours up on Arbutus hill pressing cider from this year's bountiful apple crop, cutting, chopping, and pressing a custom blend of McIntosh, Cortland and Russet apples.
Cutting the apples - the first step (after pruning, spraying, picking, washing....)
Filling the chopper
Pressing - then poured into jugs through a sieve
It was quite an experience - hard work, but time well spent with good friends, and the result was truly special - better than anything you can buy.  Thanks for the experience!

Life ... water ... trees  -  and friends.     It is good to be back at the lake.
Sunrise again over Lake Wicwas

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